When Lim Jia Qi was 11, her father died of pneumonia and her family faced financial difficulties as a result.
Yet she picked herself up, studied hard and obtained an excellent T-score of 255 for her PSLE last year.
She said she was able to keep her chin up because of the help she and her family received from The Straits Times Pocket Money Fund (STPMF).
The 12-year-old currently gets $95 monthly from the fund, and this is mostly spent on transport to and from school. Her mother, Madam Jaw Kim Hiang, 39, also uses some of the money to buy groceries.
"I'm very thankful," said Madam Jaw, a school canteen assistant.
"If not for the fund, we would not be able to live as well," she added.
The money has lessened the burden on her mother, said Jia Qi.
"Study comes naturally to me and I like to study," added the Secondary 1 student at Chung Cheng High School (Yishun).
Jia Qi hopes to become a teacher one day so that she can help children in need and also influence them to help others.
STPMF is a charity that started as a community project in 2000.
It gives pocket money to children from low-income families for school-related expenses.
By providing financial aid to students, the fund seeks to lessen their stress and help them better focus on their studies.
The STPMF held a ceremony yesterday to award 14 students, including Jia Qi, for doing well in their PSLE last year - they had obtained T-scores of between 230 and 255.
And in a partnership with Samsung, the STPMF awarded its top students for the first time by giving each a Samsung Galaxy Tab S valued at $798.
Wo Zhen Hao, 13, another student who receives money from the fund and who scored 249 for his PSLE, said the money helps his family significantly.
He also uses part of it for his meals in school.
Zhen Hao added that he worries about his mother when they stress about finances, and it motivates him to study harder.
If you would like to donate to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, visit www.spmf.org.sg/web/how-to-donate.php
This article was first published on June 09, 2015.
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