Yusof Ishak Scholars: SIT’s Budding Service Leaders for Tomorrow

Brimming with promise, purpose and passion, the first 3 recipients of the Yusof Ishak Scholarship share their dreams and aspirations with SITizen Buzz

The first President of Singapore (1965 to 1970), Encik Yusof Ishak was known as the People’s Champion for his firm commitment in promoting meritocracy, multiculturalism and racial harmony. Throughout his Presidency, Encik Yusof emphasised the importance of education. He saw it as being crucial for the nation’s development, and as the avenue to learning more about other cultures and communities.


Thanks to the generous support from various donors, the Yusof Ishak Scholarship has been established at the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) in honour of the late President, with the blessings of his family and the support of the Ministry of Education.  Valued at $15,000 each, this prestigious scholarship aims to nurture student excellence in academic studies as well as service leadership.

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A Passionate Voice for Pups and Children

When final-year Air Transport Management student Mr Darrol Tan first started volunteering at Causes for Animals, an animal shelter, he realised that street dogs were often misunderstood. “Some people have the misconception that street dogs attack people, but they are actually just trying to fend for themselves when they sense danger,” he said.


He joined SIT Whiskurs, an animal welfare and awareness initiative, in hopes of raising awareness and promoting adoption. As the Head of Publicity, he generated educational content and organised webinars to educate members on street animals and the awareness of animal cruelty in Singapore.


Mr Tan is also currently a volunteer trainer in Digital Scientist programme conducted by Central Singapore CDC, which holds workshops that involves science concepts and coding outcomes for children from low-income families.


“I hope to bring fun in learning science for the children and learn how to communicate with them better through the process!” he said.

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Looking Forward to Paying it Forward  

Second-year Mechanical Engineering student Mr Muhammad Syahrul Mirza Bin Sulaiman expressed that receiving the Yusof Ishak scholarship was a validation of him as someone who possess the potential for the future of the society. “I hope one day I can also give back and change someone’s life like the donors have changed mine,” he said.


His decision to pursue a degree after completing his polytechnic education was driven by his passion and interest to broaden his knowledge as an engineer.


Upon graduation, he is looking forward to getting into a good company where he can contribute using skills gained at SIT. “I also look forward to collaborating and networking with new colleagues, sharing my ideas to them.” he said.

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Giving her Heart to Physiotherapy and the Elderly

First-year Physiotherapy student Ms Chua Wen Jing was once unsure about her aspirations till she encountered a Physiotherapy speaker during her first year in junior college. Ms Chua then realised that she shared the same passion.


She is now most passionate about geriatric care, and says she looks forward to honing her skills and equipping herself with the necessary knowledge through her course at SIT.


Ms Chua also volunteers with YMCA occasionally, befriending the elderly who live alone on alternate weeks, helping them with their house chores and checking in on their well-being. “At first, I was worried about the potential language barrier since the elderly mainly spoke in dialects. But I could tell they really enjoyed the company, so I always look forward to visiting them again,” she said.