PETALING JAYA: A fund set up to help underprivileged Malaysians pursue tertiary education has provided aid to 56 needy students since it was established 14 years ago.
The Elena Cooke Education Fund, set up by former Bukit Bintang Girls’ School (BBGS) students, also aims to empower students “for life through education”.
The fund was established in memory of BBGS’ longest-serving headmistress, Elena Maude Cooke, a disciplinarian who is fondly remembered for her readiness to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Moey Yoke Lai, the chairman of BBGS Alumni, which manages the fund, said education was key to helping underprivileged students break free from poverty.
“Many of them may not have the opportunity or access to further education due to financial constraints. This is where the Elena Cooke Education Fund offers a difference,” she said in a statement.
Moey said the fund continues to pursue collaborations and avenues to raise money for those in need.
One such recipient is Goh Sing Joy, 24, who is grateful that the fund allowed her to complete her degree.
Without the scholarship, she said, she would have opted to get a job to help support her single mother, who is unable to work for health reasons, and an older brother.
Goh pursued a three-year Bachelor of Information Technology in Software Systems Development course at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College in 2019 after completing her STPM.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to pursue the course and support to meet my educational expenses. It allowed me to concentrate on my studies and lighten my family’s burden,” she said.
Moey said the Elena Cooke Education Fund has been made possible through continued support by corporate and individual donors as well as collaborations with institutions of higher learning.
These include Sunway College, Sunway University and HELP University, which waive all tuition fees and general fees.
Applications for the 2023 Elena Cooke Education Fund are now open to students who have completed their SPM and STPM examinations. The closing date is two weeks after the STPM results are announced.
More information about the fund and the application form can be found here.