Each year around Christmas Island School raises fund for the Nicola Myers and Kenneth McBride Memorial Fund*. The fund supports students from local schools in severe financial need. Two recipients of the fund explained what the grant means to them.
Student 1, currently in Form 6, received the scholarship last year during a period of great financial difficulty.
He explained, “In Secondary 4, my father was no longer in my life, leaving my mother to support my life and education.”
This financial change left him with fewer academic and social opportunities. “Sometimes I want to join tutorials like other students but I have no money.” he said. Student 1 studies history and art, the latter of which requires expensive materials. Upon asking his teachers for advice about his situation, he was told about the Nicola Myers and Kenneth McBride scholarship.
Student 1 teachers explained to Island School staff how talented he is and his potential to develop as an artist.
Student 1 asserted that the bursary he received had an immensely positive effect on his life. He used the money to purchase reference books for his upcoming DSE examinations as well as food. Now he doesn’t have to choose between buy art materials and food. “[The scholarship] was very helpful for me,” he said, “I want to say that it was very useful to support my living and relieve the stress on my mother. I am very thankful.” In the future, Student 1 aims to become either a professional artist or an eSport player for China.
Student 2 also in Form 6 and received the scholarship last year. Student 2 also comes from a low income family. Student 2 expressed great gratitude for the scholarship, saying that “I am very lucky and thankful.” He used the money to buy reference books to assist his studies and improve his English grammar. His current electives are biology and chemistry; his goal is to study chemistry at Hong Kong University or Chinese University of Hong Kong and work as a chemist. About the scholarship as a whole, Student 2 onny said that “I think that [this scholarship] helps people who live in bad economic conditions… [with the scholarship], they will be able to work hard for their future.”
A teacher from the students school, confirmed the importance of the NMKM Fund and the opportunities it provides for students. “In our school, there are quite a number of students who need help… the students really need this sum of money – just like [Student 1 & 2 ], they need it for reference books and extracurricular activities. They don’t have such chances otherwise.”
*The Nicola Myers and Kenneth McBride Memorial Fund was founded in memory of two students who tragically died in 1985. The fund aims to support the education of underprivileged students in Hong Kong by granting them a scholarship worth $2500. This money allows students to purchase textbooks, participate in extracurricular activities and pay for basic necessities such as food or travel.
By Julia Mulrooney, Communications and Information Officer