2018 - October
Accountancy Students Overcome Financial Hardship and Family Difficulties with Support from ISCA Cares
12 Oct 2018 Category: Media Releases
- The charity arm of the national accountancy body helps accountancy students whose family’s per capita monthly income falls below $625.
12 October, 2018 – Growing up, 18-year-old Zafri Zackery was raised by his retired grandparents, as his parents were out of the picture for most of his life. His family relied solely on financial assistance from the government and religious organisations. Despite considerable financial hardship, Zackery has big dreams to give back to society by working as a teacher. This is his way of thanking the numerous teachers, lecturers and counsellors who have continually supported and advised him throughout his days as a student.
With a passion for numbers and calculations, Soh Hui Wen enrolled herself as an Accounting and Finance student at Temasek Polytechnic to pursue her dream of being an Audit Manager one day. However, circumstances compelled her to work part-time to support herself financially, and the lack of time for studies caused her grades to plummet. Hui Wen’s parents are separated, and each has their own family now. Hui Wen, 19, was raised by her retired ageing great-grandparents, whom she currently lives with.
Zackery and Hui Wen are among the 29 students from underprivileged families who will be receiving their bursaries at the ISCA Cares Bursary Awards ceremony on 12 October. In its third year, the ISCA Cares Education Programme awards bursaries to needy youths whose family’s per capita income falls below $625. This year, the ISCA Cares Education Programme disbursed over S$80,000 to 29 beneficiaries.
A programme under the ISCA Cares, the ISCA Cares Education Programme aims to provide needy youths with access to quality accountancy education in the local polytechnics and mainstream universities. The ISCA Cares bursary will go towards subsidising beneficiaries’ tuition fees and basic living expenses. In addition, beneficiaries have the opportunity to be mentored by experienced accounting professionals for a year. Beneficiaries can also apply for internship programmes at the offices of corporate donors, where they can gain invaluable accountancy work experience.
Chermaine Pung, 22, received the bursary from ISCA Cares last year and was mentored by Ms Jocelyn Goh, Audit Partner of BDO LLP. Commenting on the mentoring programme, Charmaine said, “Ms Jocelyn was a nice mentor. She shared with me her work experience and many tips and career paths that I can consider in future. As I would like to be an auditor, she shared with me what are the qualities and skills that are relevant in the industry today and what employers are looking for. Through this mentorship experience, I gained a lot of insights and knowledge about this profession, from the view of a very experienced manager. She inspired me to become a Chartered Accountant.”
ISCA Cares is a charity set up in 2015 by ISCA as part of Singapore's Jubilee celebration of her 50th anniversary of independence. As the national accountancy body, the Institute would like to provide a platform for the profession to come together to support worthy causes and give back to society.
ISCA Cares was made possible with the firm support of the accountancy profession. In particular, Baker Tilly and RSM Singapore are the largest corporate donors this year, and PwC Singapore extended their new premises at Marina One for the award ceremony.
ISCA Cares Chairman, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, said, “We are greatly humbled by the kind generosity of our donors, which has allowed us to continue helping these talented, students in difficult circumstances. Having interviewed and mentored some of the students myself, I am very impressed by the maturity and resilience displayed despite their tender age, characteristics which are important as they progress in life. At ISCA Cares, we believe no one should be deprived of a chance at education because of difficult financial circumstances. Through the ISCA Cares Education Programme, needy students are given a helping hand in their pursuit of an accountancy career.”
Mr Lee Fook Chiew, Chief Executive Officer of ISCA, said, “We are glad to have many firms and individuals giving generously to support needy students and foster the future generation of accountants. We would also like to express our gratitude to those who also donated their precious time and experience in mentoring the beneficiaries.”
To learn more about some of the beneficiaries, refer to the Appendix.
For information on ISCA Cares, visit http://isca.org.sg/isca-cares.
For media queries, please contact:
Shaun Tay, Communications Executive
HP: 9147 7633
Betsy Tan, Senior Communications Manager
HP: 9641 6920
About ISCA Cares
ISCA Cares is a charity set up in 2015 by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) as part of Singapore's Jubilee celebration of her 50th anniversary of independence.
ISCA Cares envisions a compassionate and caring accountancy community that actively contributes towards the betterment of society. Its mission is to encourage open-heartedness by promoting strong social conscience and a spirit of inclusivity in the accountancy community.
ISCA Cares supports two charitable causes:
Education: To provide needy Singapore youths with academic potential access to quality accountancy education through financial and non-financial assistance.
Community: To harness the knowledge, skills and expertise of the accountancy community, for community development projects through collaborative programmes with partners.
About the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants
The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) is the national accountancy body of Singapore. ISCA’s vision is to be a globally recognised professional accountancy body, bringing value to our members, the profession and wider community. There are over 32,000 ISCA members making their stride in businesses across industries in Singapore and around the world.
Established in 1963, ISCA is an advocate of the interests of the profession. Possessing a Global Mindset, with Asian Insights, ISCA leverages its regional expertise, knowledge, and networks with diverse stakeholders to contribute towards Singapore’s transformation into a global accountancy hub.
ISCA is the Administrator of the Singapore CA Qualification and the Designated Entity to confer the Chartered Accountant of Singapore - CA (Singapore) - designation.
ISCA is a member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW). CAW brings together 12 chartered accountancy bodies connecting and representing the interests of over 1.7 million members and students globally.
For more information, visit www.isca.org.sg.
Appendix: Selected Beneficiary Profiles
About Mohammad Nur Zafri Zackery Bin Zazali (18)
Growing up, Zafri Zackery and his younger sister, now 14, were raised by his aged grandparents. His grandparents are retired and his family relies solely on financial assistance from the government and religious organisations. Despite this, 18-year old Zafri, who is currently studying accountancy at Singapore Polytechnic, has big dreams to give back to society by working as a teacher. This is his way of thanking the numerous teachers, lecturers and counsellors who have continually supported and advised him throughout his days as a student.
About Soh Hui Wen (19)
With a passion for numbers and calculations, Soh Hui Wen enrolled herself as an Accounting and Finance student at Temasek Polytechnic to pursue her dream of being an Audit Manager one day. However, circumstances compelled her to work part-time to support herself financially, and the lack of time for studies caused her grades to plummet. Hui Wen’s parents are separated and each has their own family now. Hui Wen was raised by her retired ageing great-grandparents, whom she currently lives with.
About Lee Jia Yu Sarah (18)
Sarah is a year 2 student at Nanyang Polytechnic’s Accountancy and Finance course. Her father, whose monthly salary is $1,800, is the family’s sole breadwinner, as her mother is unable to work due to a permanent medical condition. Her two younger siblings have just begun their polytechnic education, adding on to the family’s already substantial financial burden. Sarah was awarded the ISCA Cares Bursary last year, and it has helped her cover part of her school fees, as well as part of her mother’s medical fees.
About Heng Guo Hao (24)
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Accountancy student Heng Guo Hao comes from a low-income family. Guo Hao currently stays with his mother and school-going sister, as his parents are divorced. Despite this, Guo Hao is a strong believer of contributing back to society. He serves as a mentor in the Welfare Services Centre (Youth) in NTU, where he coached secondary school students from Lakeside Family Centres and was once the Financial Controller of the Centre, helping to manage the Centre’s finances. He has a strong commitment to community service and has displayed leadership qualities in all that he does.