Senin, 12 September 2011

Inspiring Story : He did it his way

Beloved son, brother and friend: Terrence Phang Ying Choy.


A young man who placed family first showed that nothing is impossible when your heart is in it.

MY best friend Terrence Phang Ying Choy was from SMK Bandar Utama, Selangor. I had known him for 12 years, since primary school. I literally grew up with him and he was like a brother to me.

Ying Choy came from a poor background. His father is a contractor and his mother, a housewife. He had two younger siblings and they live in a rented apartment.

Like most Chinese-educated students, his command of English was comparatively weaker than that of his peers. He was also an ordinary student with no special talent in sports or music.

However, Ying Choy worked twice as hard as his peers and did really well in school. He scored 6As and 1B in his UPSR, 8As in his PMR and 9A1s and 2As in his SPM.
Despite his good results he failed to secure any scholarship after Form Five. Because his father’s construction jobs are seasonal, he decided to work to supplement the family’s income and support his younger brothers, instead of furthering his studies. He did sales and marketing for his uncle’s firm, worked on a construction site and gave tuition four times a week for one full year. In fact, he was the sole breadwinner during the economic downturn in 2007.

When his father’s income became more stable as the property market picked up again, Ying Choy decided to go back to his studies. He felt manual labour was not enough to help the family.

He enrolled in Form Six, studied for about three months, then dropped out. He switched to A-levels at Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR) College, where he got a full subsidy for his course. But he dropped out after two months.

Finally, he enrolled in Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman for a foundation programme, which he completed. Once again, he stopped studying and went back to work for some months.

Ying Choy dropped out three times because he could not focus on his studies knowing that his siblings would be leaving school soon and needed money to further their education.

One day, he saw some Facebook pictures of his secondary school friends who were studying in London, on tour in the Swiss Alps. He wondered why others could do it while he could not. He realised it wasn’t because they were smarter but that they had better opportunities.

So he withdrew the RM17,000 he had saved from working and took a leap of faith – he signed up for an express A-levels programme that Sunway College had just introduced.

The gamble was that if he did well, he would get an offer from a good university, which would enable him to get a scholarship. He could then use the money to study and save some for his family.

After being away from books for almost one-and-a-half years, Ying Choy had to struggle to cope. Every day he attended college from 8am to 6pm; went home for dinner; gave tuition from 8 to 10pm, and then revised his lessons from 10.30pm to 12.30am. He did this for a whole year.

Early 2009, Ying Choy received offers from five top British universities: the London School of Economics, Imperial College London, Warwick University, University College London and University of Cambridge. He also got offers from Melbourne University and the National University of Singapore.

He was shocked and elated. He least expected to get a place in Cambridge, which many top Malaysian students had failed to get into, what more a boy whose pre-U studies was never exceptional.
Despite the good news, he still had to get the scholarship.

After being rejected by various companies and foundations, he finally received an offer from Sime Darby, one month before Cambridge’s acceptance deadline. Ying Choy had defied the odds to attain a place in the one of the best universities in the world.

That year, he stepped on an aeroplane for the first time in his life. It was his first trip abroad and the first time he had left home. He was the first in his family to go for tertiary education.

He promised them he would come back and life would be good after he graduated. He would take them to Europe and buy a new house so they need not have to rent.

Ying Choy spent wisely and saved substantially. Every month, he sent home a large portion of his allowance.
He did remarkably in his first year at Cambridge, scoring first class honours and was ranked 37 among the 160 engineering students in his batch. He did equally well in his second year.

In July, Ying Choy came home for the summer holidays. His family had been looking forward to his return and everyone had a good time with him back.

But life took a cruel twist on Sept 1. At 6am that morning, he had breathing difficulties and collapsed by the side of his bed.

My best friend died about six hours after I last saw him. He had looked perfectly healthy then. In fact, he was a basketball player and a gym rat.

He was buried on Sept 4. He was only 22.

A large portion of his savings – he had saved over RM50,000 for his siblings’ education – was used for the funeral expenses. His family, who are still in shock, now have to worry about their younger sons’ education even as they grieve for their eldest boy.

Ying Choy strongly believed in self-help. He was vehemently against using connections as the way to success. He was living proof that meritocracy still exists today.

I will always miss him.

Jadi, tugas kita adalah bagaimana memaksimalkan dan mensyukuri apa yang kita punya sekarang...^^
Sumber : disini


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