ITE staff member raises $17,500 for students with money woes
Madam Sim, from ITE College Central, reached out to alumni, colleagues and church friends for donations
Moved by the struggles of needy students, Madam Phoebe Sim, who works at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central, took matters into her own hands and raised more than $17,500 in donations.
After reading about the economic impact of Covid-19 on society, Madam Sim, 51, section head of accounting, told The New Paper she checked in on how students were affected by the pandemic and then went to work.
She rallied class advisers in the Higher Nitec in accounting cohort to identify students who were facing financial constraints due to Covid-19, while she worked with a team to reach out to donors, comprising alumni, colleagues and church friends.
PUT OUT OF BUSINESS
One student faced a mountain to climb when her parent's transport company was put out of business.
In an appreciation letter to her donors, Higher Nitec accounting student Tan Li Yun revealed how her family helped cut expenses by eating canned food and instant noodles, but even then, they barely had enough money to commute.
Miss Tan, 19, said her family of four also needed to set aside money for her 79-year-old grandmother, who needed medication and frequent consultations.
She wrote: "My family and I are very grateful to be able to get help even though you don't know us.
"With this act of kindness that we have received, we will (send) your kindness to others in need in the future when we can."
Madam Sim, who previously worked for four years as a lecturer in the school, said she could not believe the amount of support that poured in.
Some donors even increased their contribution after reading the appreciation letters from the students.
Madam Sim said: "I started this by faith, with the help of relatives and friends. We were greatly encouraged by the response we received.
"We hope that the recipients can use this as encouragement to persevere, work hard and remain hopeful in spite of their challenging situation."
More than 70 per cent of around 25,000 ITE students receive some form of financial aid or scholarships, said an ITE spokesman.
Students can get financial aid through schemes offered by the school, such as the ITE Monthly Financial Assistance Scheme, which provides a $150 monthly allowance.
ITE has also raised more than $52,800 for needy students through the giving.sg initiative. To help raise funds, visit tiny.cc/itecares-giving