Cagamas didn’t just change my life. It became my life.
Ever since I was sixteen years old, my goal would always be to further my studies in Actuarial Science. It has become the main catalyst for me to do well in every exam so I would be able to achieve it. Growing up by my side, with just my mother, I constantly had these thoughts:
"Could I get my degree?”
“If I pursued my studies, would I be a burden to my mother?”
My goal may have just been a dream without Cagamas.
Being a recipient of the Cagamas Scholarship Programme (CSP) helped me spread my wings and pursue my passion fearlessly. It was a privilege to be hand-picked for the scholarship because it not only motivated me to focus more on my studies but also allows me to enjoy my university life at the same time.
I could finally focus on my undergraduate degree without having to think about my financial obligations or, in other words, I am financially independent from my mother to continue my studies. Cagamas definitely helped to build my confidence as I felt empowered to decide the best way forward as the scholarship included allocations for accommodation, allowance, books and stationery aside from my university programme fees.
An interesting aspect of the CSP was the mentoring programme and not being tied to a bond tenure after my studies. These elements attracted my attention as they were not a usual component of most scholarships offered by the industry.
Having a mentor during my degree journey enabled me to be a step ahead of my peers, as I have someone who not only inspires me to do well, but also gives guidance from their experience. In addition, being a millennial starting my career after graduation, a no-bond scholarship will give me the flexibility to pursue my interest with an organisation that is an industry leader in that field.
The CSP assessments were tough and the interview processes were much more daunting than other scholarship programmes that I had experienced. I had moments where I doubted my capabilities and competence, especially when compared to the other similar outstanding candidates vying for CSP. When I got the good news from Cagamas, my mother more elated than I am as a new minted CSP scholars. For me, this was a huge boost of confidence and provided me with the impetus to ensure that I excel in my undergraduate degree programme.
In the short time that I’ve been a CSP scholar, I came to realise that aside from the financial support, Cagamas went above and beyond to create a familial environment for all its scholars. This environment allowed us to be nurtured and encouraged while providing personal support as we navigated university life.