Established in 2017, the Eurokars Group Endowed Scholarship is available to full-time undergraduates, without distinction of race, nationality, religion and gender, at the Singapore Management University. It is aimed at providing financial assistance to needy undergraduates with gross monthly household per capita income not exceeding SGD1,900, and enabling them to achieve academic excellence.
Eurokars Group’s total endowed contribution of SGD250,000 is complemented by a matching grant from the Singapore Government. Each year, the Eurokars Group Endowed Scholarship awards SGD11,250 towards the subsidised tuition fees and study-related expenses of a full-time SMU undergraduate who meets the qualifying criteria. The scholarship – which comes with an internship attachment programme – is open to all SMU undergraduates who are enrolled in any degree programme, and who have attained good academic results with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00, and also demonstrated excellence in the areas of student life and community involvement.
“Even as Eurokars Group continues to deliver new milestones and pursue our business interests, we have not wavered from our mission of making a positive and tangible impact on the community that we serve and operate in. Thus, over the years, Eurokars Group has supported a wide spectrum of charitable and not-for-profit organisations and causes. As a part of the dynamic automotive industry, we believe in the power of education in enhancing the calibre and quality of the Singapore workforce, and propelling the productivity of the economy as a whole. Indeed, education is the vital key that unlocks opportunities in life and opens doors to a bright future and promising career path. It is in this spirit that we have established the SMU Eurokars Group Endowed Scholarship,” says Mr Karsono Kwee, Executive Chairman, Eurokars Group.
He adds: “The Eurokars Group Endowed Scholarship is a collaborative effort between Eurokars Group and SMU that will enable the recipients to undergo invaluable education in a premier university while receiving hands-on experience in the workplace, mentorship and the opportunity to develop the necessary skill set to succeed in the jobs of today and the future. We are excited to be the first automotive company in Singapore to set up an endowed scholarship with SMU, and we look forward to welcoming the first recipient and scholar onboard Eurokars Group as our intern.”
The inaugural Eurokars Group Endowed Scholarship has been awarded to Miss Thian Si Ying who is 23 years old and a final year undergraduate at SMU. She is enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Science programme, majoring in Sociology, and Public Policy & Public Management. And she will graduate from SMU in August this year.
The scholarship will not only aid her financially but also pave the path for her to further her postgraduate studies and pursue her dream of setting up a private think-tank and becoming a social worker after gaining financial stability.
“This scholarship from Eurokars Group will alleviate my post-graduation financial burden with regards to student loans. I hope to pursue postgraduate studies in Public Policy and/or Sociology because I am inspired by research for advocacy and making these social problems visible to the Singapore society so that everyone can work together, and volunteer without compulsion and the government's intervention. I believe that research activism helps to bridge the gap between policy-makers and its recipients, and make the academic discipline – with its wealth of knowledge – accessible to potential change-makers who can further positive changes in society,” says Miss Thian.
As for what motivated her to apply for Eurokars Group Endowed Scholarship, she has this to say: “I was drawn to the culture and passion of Eurokars Group and its founder, Mr Karsono Kwee, in terms of what they are doing in the automotive industry. Eurokars Group is an employer that cares about the education and the development of future generations. I look forward to working with and learning from the Eurokars Group team with this internship opportunity.”
Despite coming from a low income family, Miss Thian feels that she is “in more fortunate circumstances than others”. She has strived to rise above her background and environment to not only achieve above par academic excellence with a cumulative GPA score of 3.28 out of 4.00 but also pro-actively contribute to community work and make a difference in the lives of the less privileged and disadvantaged whom she has reached out to help.
Miss Thian possesses genuine passion and interest in social work, community service and advocacy work. She believes in the power of fundamental social change and transformation through “research activism” or the research of social issues such as the environment and gender equality, and marginalised groups in society including the elderly, migrant workers and the mentally disabled.
And she has surpassed the mandatory 80 hours of community service requirement that is stipulated by SMU for its undergraduates. While pursuing her studies, she volunteered with the Habitat for Humanity to build a house from scratch for the needy in Chiang Mai together with 13 other volunteers. She took on the role of a Befriender with the Institute of Mental Health and conducted weekly visits to the IMH to socialise with the patients, and organise festive celebrations such as a Christmas dance party for several wards of patients. She was a Lion Befriender for a year from 2014 to 2015, and made weekly visits to the residences of the elderly and accompanied them on outings. In the area of research, she conducted research on migrant workers in Singapore on behalf of Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2); on pressing environmental issues within the ASEAN region as the research leader of the VERTS (Environmental Club) in SMU, and on racial and ethnic relations in Singapore with the National University of Singapore Institute of Policy Studies team at OnePeople.sg.
“In the light of her impressive academic and community service accomplishments; passion for social work and the betterment of society, and her depth of maturity, confidence and strength of character, Eurokars Group is pleased to select Miss Thian Si Ying as the recipient of the inaugural Eurokars Group Endowed Scholarship,” says Mr Kwee.
Miss Thian will undergo her internship stint at Eurokars Group from June to August 2018.
“Through my community service involvement and everything that I have learned during my undergraduate study at SMU, I am motivated to make a change in society. During my internship with Eurokars Group, I hope to be able to contribute my analytical and research skills, and more importantly, provide an alternative opinion in discussions and the projects and policies that are being pushed forward by the organisation,” says Miss Thian.