Outstanding Performance Scholarship
Recipients in the 2015/16 Academic Year
TAI Ching, Joseph
Associate of Arts in English for Professional Communication
Community College of City University, City University of Hong Kong
In the summer of 2013, I was diagnosed with cancer, stage 3 t-cell lymphoma. I was forced to withdraw from my Bachelor studies in United States. Fast forward to three years later, I am now about to graduate from the Associate of Arts in English for Professional Communication (AAEPC) at the Community College of City University (CCCU) with the Outstanding Performance Scholarship from Education Bureau, and I hope my story will inspire others facing seemingly insurmountable challenges.
I decided to stay in Hong Kong for my treatment and withdrew from my university in the United States. Chemotherapy injections burned through my veins and left long black lines on my arms. The scars have since faded but they’re still visible to the keen observer. It was September when I started chemo, a time when school was supposed to begin, and I knew I had to make my university applications as soon as possible if I wanted to return to school once I am well again. I applied to the local universities and took the IELTS for the first time, achieving an 8.5, even though I was in and out of the hospital. However, I was very much saddened to learn that all of my Bachelor programme applications made to the local universities were unsuccessful.
In the end, I did not give up on education and chose to do an Associate Degree at the Community College of City University (CCCU) for furthering my studies and for an opportunity to return to a Bachelor programme. I could not have been more grateful to be healthy enough and to have to opportunity to study again. I resumed my studies in Semester B of 2014/2015, having been forced to take a leave of absence in the first semester for a bone marrow transplant.
Returning to school was a difficult process. I was constantly fatigued by the side effects of the treatment. I remember after the first day of class, I finished my dinner and went right away to bed, sleeping for 13 hours straight. My first assignments averaged at around a “B” even though I spent countless hours working on them. But I did not allow myself to become discouraged or let my health become an excuse. I told myself I can work even harder to overcome this challenge. In the end, I achieved a cGPA of 3.83 and the Principal's List award twice in one of the hardest Associate Degree programmes, the AAEPC, despite all these difficulties and setbacks.
I am honored to be a recipient of the Outstanding Performance Scholarship (SPSS-OPS). I have also finally received Year 3 entry offers to UGC funded programmes, and I hope to be able to finally resume my Bachelor studies. The scholarship is an official recognition that my effort and perseverance through the toughest years of my life have not gone to waste, and also a recognition that people with health issues are welcomed to rejoin society. It is my hope that my story will inspire other people facing seemingly insurmountable hardships in their lives, that even though life may not be fair, through hard work and dedication, we may just persevere.
HO Wan Na
Associate of Arts (Business Administration)
College of International Education, Hong Kong Baptist University
Frankly speaking, I have never been a person with multi-faceted talents. My mind goes blank when I try to name my special skill. Neither am I interested in sports, nor am I good at any of the four Chinese arts (i.e. music, chess, calligraphy and painting). Nevertheless, I am grateful for having a curious mind, which has opened a new world for me.
Since I was small, my parents have always encouraged me to do what I like. Even though my Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination results were not satisfactory, they let me decide what discipline I should pursue when I enrolled for an associate degree programme.They gave me support and taught me to brave adversity. I always have the feeling that the associate degree programme I am studying is some sort of training for me. It has brought me both valuable opportunities and challenges. Driven by curiosity and the quest for knowledge, I have been bold enough to make new attempts. In the course of these, I found the direction for my future and learnt how to manage my time better.
Progressing to the bachelor’s degree programme in human resources management is my ultimate goal. In the past two years, while concentrating on my business studies with the HKBU, I also joined the JA Company Programme and the HKBU’s internship programme in a bid to consolidate my knowledge and gain more experience. Through these programmes, I got a faint taste of the life as a “wage earner”. Moreover, I am a young person who likes to keep broadening the horizon. I believe that travelling enables us to gain an encyclopedic knowledge of the unique customs of different places. For this reason, I have not let go of any opportunity to see the world. I am honoured to have served as a member of the HKBU Wofoo Leaders’ Network and the Sha Tin Youth Service Corps. Apart from making contributions by participating in their volunteering services and helping them in their planning of activities, I have also joined their study and exchange tours to Yunnan (Naxi culture) and Kazakhstan (Almaty). I have benefitted a lot from these activities, with social and interpersonal skills further enhanced.
Time flies and the associate degree programme I am pursuing at the HKBU’s College of International Education is coming to its end. I would like to express my gratitude to the Education Bureau for granting me the scholarship. I also wish to thank my lecturers and tutors, as well as parents and friends for their support. Finally, I want to share with you a maxim, “Do what I love. Love what I do.” I believe that we should follow our heart and hold on to our dream. We should never be afraid to try and err because the experience so gathered will help us find our way.
Last Review Date: 06/12/2017