Two FLASS students win the AIA Scholarships for their outstanding academic performance and their big heart to serve

Jasmine Tam On-yung, right, and Rowena Wong Nga-man, left, with their certificate of award for the AIA Scholarships.

Rowena Wong Nga-man from Bachelor of Education (Honours) (Business, Accounting and Financial Studies) programme, far left, and Jasmine Tam On-yung from Bachelor of Education (Honours) (Primary) – Mathematics programme, second from left, receive the AIA Scholarships at the 2022/23 awards ceremony on 11 September 2023. Professor May Cheng May-hung, EdUHK Vice President (Academic) is on the far right.

Jasmine Tam On-yung, second-year student of the Bachelor of Education (Honours) (Primary) – Mathematics programme, and Rowena Wong Nga-man, second-year student of the Bachelor of Education (Honours) (Business, Accounting and Financial Studies) programme, made themselves the third cohort of recipients awarded the AIA Scholarships from the AIA Foundation. The two students from FLASS received the prestigious honour at the AIA Scholarships 2022/23 Awards Ceremony on 11 September 2023. Professor May Cheng May-hung, EdUHK Vice President (Academic), also joined the ceremony.

Launched in 2020, the AIA Scholarships is the flagship programme of AIA Foundation to support Hong Kong’s best and brightest students to pursue university education in Hong Kong. To be eligible as a candidate for the scholarship, students need to provide information about their academic performances and accolades, together with a personal statement explaining their career aspirations, volunteer experiences, and how they can contribute to society. Based on the above submissions and an individual interview, the organiser decided which candidate should receive the scholarship.


Knowing the needs of the underprivileged

Jasmine enjoys reading not only books on mathematics but books that can broaden her perspective on education and stimulate her to think on moral issues. She aspires to become a mathematics teacher at primary schools and believes it is important to teach students how to be a moral person.

Jasmine likes travelling to understand different cultures. The photo was taken during a trip to Blue Mountain, Sydney, Australia.

Since she was a secondary school student, Jasmine has been volunteering at various community organisations. These included visiting elderly homes and subdivided flats, teaching summer classes for primary schoolers, and providing community services for children of ethical minority. She said volunteer work gave her new perspectives about the needs of the underprivileged and taught her how to serve and communicate with people from different societal and cultural backgrounds

“For instance, when we serve ethnic minorities, we need to be sensitive about their cultural taboos and respect their religious practices. This could be as simply as providing them with a halal menu. I also learnt that we need to put ourselves in their shoes to understand what they actually need from us. More importantly, we should treat them equally without holding any bias because of the differences in culture. It is incredibly rewarding whenever I see them return a smile when I help them. It is an amazing experience,” she said.

Besides having a heart for service, Jasmine has also developed a love for music. She has been learning to play the viola since primary school and has been a violist of the Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra since 2022. Currently taking the Bachelor of Education (Honours) (Primary) programme with a major in Mathematics, Jasmine aspires to become a primary school mathematics teacher after graduation. “It is important to teach students textbook knowledge, but it is even more important to teach students how to be a moral person. I hope I can become a role model who can influence their lives,” the aspiring teacher said.

Like Jasmine, Rowena Wong Nga-man also hopes to become a teacher after finishing her university studies. But in contrast to Jasmine, it was the unpleasant experience of being bullied that fuelled her passion to teach. “I was a victim of cyber bullying during high school. Having lived through those experiences has instilled in me with the desire to become a teacher to mitigate school bullying and help students recover from the wounds,” said Rowena.


A helping hand can warm people’s hearts

Apart from music, Rowena likes visiting different cultural heritages. In the photo, she visits Pompeii Ruins in Italy during summer of 2023.

On the same tour to Italy, Rowena visits ruins of the Colosseum in the city centre of Rome. She is amazed by the rich heritage in art, history and religion of the country.

Instead of withdrawing, Rowena turned to Buddhism and spirituality for help. “After being healed, I started to spend more time volunteering as I understand how a helping hand can warm people’s hearts, especially those in need. Memories of visiting the elderly homes etched in my heart. I learnt from these visits how to understand and accompany people who are deprived of attention and care. This has left an imprint in me and urged me to contribute to society by sharing my love with students,” Rowena said.

In the second year of her studies, Rowena decided to work towards teaching finance and accounting in secondary school after graduation. She feels honoured in representing EdUHK to win the AIA Scholarship and is grateful that she had the opportunity to know awardees from other schools. “Some of their stories touched me deeply and propelled me to seek a brighter future. I encourage all my fellow school mates who are still struggling with wounds and fears to seek help and come out from their unhappy experiences,” she said.

The AIA Foundation offers 100 scholarships every year to outstanding local undergraduate students from ten local universities, helping them to optimise their university experience and encourage them to give back to the local community. The scholarships are renewable annually during the normative period of study. In addition to granting AIA Scholarships, AIA Foundation will engage with the scholars throughout their academic journeys, providing them with career planning workshops, dialogues with AIA senior leaders, and opportunities to serve the community.