ECEF 2017 Scholars

Our 2017 ECEF Scholars

The SPM results this year were released on March 16.  Prior to that, the application forms for the 2017 Elena Cooke Education Fund scholarship were uploaded on and on, the popular website for tertiary education courses and scholarships.  The deadline given for applications to be received was March 29, 2017.

Our minimum criteria were that :

  • each applicant must be a Malaysian
  • each applicant must have scored at least 3As in the SPM and
  • the household income of the applicant’s family must be not more than RM42,000 a year.

This year, we received a total of 113 applications from students from all walks of life, and from many different states, from Kedah down to Johore.  We had applicants with single parents, parents or siblings who are OKU or critically ill, and parents who are farmers, rubber tappers, construction workers and so on.

The Selection Committee, comprising 13 ex-BBGS girls, carefully perused and evaluated all eligible applications, arriving at a shortlist of 21 candidates for interview.

The interviews have been completed.  We have given conditional offers of scholarships to 4 students who are still awaiting the results of their applications to the Government universities. The scholarships that we have officially awarded so far are to 2 students to study in Sunway College and Sunway University, namely:

  • Teo Hui Ren – he will be studying for the Certified Accounting Technician qualification, which will make him eligible to study for the ACCA qualification
  • Chin Zhi Thing – she will be studying for a Diploma in Business Administration in Sunway University.

Under the Sunway-ECEF scholarship, Sunway will waive the tuition fees and all general fees while ECEF gives allowances for living expenses, accommodation and book purchases

Teo Hui Ren

Teo’s parents were finding it hard to make ends meet, so when he was only 10, his maternal grandmother decided to take him and his younger brother to Batu Pahat to bring them up herself.  His aunt and uncle then stepped in, took the two brothers in and provided for them all the way through secondary school.  However, his aunt and uncle are not able to sponsor Teo beyond Form 5, hence he applied for the Elena Cooke Education Fund scholarship after achieving 2A+s, 4 As and 1A- in the SPM. In his personal statement in the application form, he wrote : “Through this amazing scholarship, I am able to reduce the burden of both my parents as well as my aunt, uncle and grandmother.   Standing a chance in getting into the college/university of my dreams would also put me one step closer to accomplishing one of my goals in life which is to give back to society.  All my life, I never had much so I understand what it feels like to be uncertain about the future.  Thus, I hope that one day I would be able to do what this foundation is doing for the less fortunate.  Thank you; I truly appreciate the effort and thought you have spared for us.”

Here is a photo of Teo and Datin Noor Azimah (representing the BBGS Alumni Berhad) at the signing of his scholarship agreement.

Signing Ceremony #4

Teo Hui Ren & Datin Noor Azimah Abd Rahim.

Chin Zhi Thing

Zhi Thing is from Kulim, Kedah.  Her father worked as a carpenter until 2015 when he was diagnosed with lung and thyroid cancer, caused by his working environment. He has undergone operations and chemotherapy and is still undergoing radiotherapy.  He tried to go back to work once, but the prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals in his line of work only worsened his condition.  Zhi Thing’s mother – a housewife – has only received education up to Standard 6.  Besides, she needs to care for her husband full-time.   They are currently surviving on their savings.  Zhi Thing’s elder sister is studying in UM on a PTPTN loan. The two sisters have been working part-time to help ease the burden on their parents.

Zhi Thing scored 5As and 2A- in the SPM and hopes to be a successful businesswoman one day.  She will be signing her scholarship agreement in August just before her course commences.

6 Students Awarded 2017 Elena Cooke Education Fund Scholarships

We celebrate with the six who were selected amongst more than 100 applicants for the 2017 Elena Cooke Education Fund scholarship.

The Selection Committee had to hold back tears as they read the hardships faced by so many of the applicants. Without financial aid, so many would find their post-SPM/STPM dreams shattered.

For the six most deserving applicants, it was sheer relief and happiness when they attended the recent signing ceremonies.


  • Lee Yuen Yee – Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) / Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design)
  • Glenna Tan Jie Yee – Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) / Bachelor of Forensic Science (with Honors)
  • Han Rusan a/p Yok Lot – Methodist College KL / Diploma in Early Childhood Education
  • Chin Zhi Thing – Sunway University / Diploma in Business Administration
  • Nur Khairunniza bte Slamet Purwanto – Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) /Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Teo Hui Ren – Sunway College / Certified Accounting Technician (CAT)

Signing Ceremony 2017

Ms Jennifer Cheong, Datin Noor Azimah Abd Rahim & Ms Moey Yoke Lai from the Elena Cooke Education Fund Committee pose with (L to R) Lee Yuen Yee, Glenna Tan, Han Rusan & Chin Zhi Thing.


Signing Ceremony 2017 #2

Our 2017 scholars listen intently as Ms Moey Yoke Lai explains how, why & when the Elena Cooke Education Fund started.




Against all odds

Raised by single parents, working part-time, battling financial challenges … these did not stop Glenna Tan and Lee Yuen Yee, two of our 2017 Elena Cooke Education Fund scholars, from turning in strong academic and strong co-curricular results.


A consistent A student, Glenna scored  straight As in both her SPM and STPM.  She is Elena Cooke Education Fund’s first scholarship holder from SMK Sri Bintang Utara. She completed her 6th Form in Victoria Institution

Yuen Yee & Glenna

Yuen Yee (left) & Glenna receive their first cheques as 2017 Elena Cooke Education Fund scholars

Her sensitivity towards those needing care saw her signing up as a medic team volunteer in MTV Worldstage 2015 and other events.  In school, she was VP of St John’s Ambulance Malaysia and of the Pasukan Bantuan Sukarela.  She also won the Anugerah Pelajar Terbaik (Bioloji).


“I lost my mother at the tender age of 5 and have had a challenging time throughout my growing up years, being a mother to my 2 younger brothers and also run my home,” says Glenna.

Her father, a construction worker, has re-married and has two young kids.

Glenna worked as a general clerk for 5 months in 2015 and 6 months in 2017.

Glenna has chosen to pursue a Bachelor of Forensic Science (with Honors) degree at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.  She says Forensic Science “inspires awe and passion” in her. Starting on 26 August 2017, her adventure in Forensic Science at UKM will last 4 years.

“I am a very determined and diligent person by nature.  I do not give up easily despite the turbulent challenges life has given me.”

Yuen Yee

Yuen Yee, from SMK Tapah, scored 4 As in STPM.

Active in sports (he was Volleyball Champion and Chairman of his Pre-U Badminton Club), he says, “I have combined my studies with other commitments showing myself to be self-motivated, organized and able to work under pressure… drive to see things to completion.”

Yuen Yee and his older two siblings were raised by their mum single-handedly. He recalls that he was “always struggling with financial problems so my older brother and sister lost the opportunity to attend university.  I tried to stop studying and work instead but they gave me the most support to continue studying”.

“I’ve worked part-time since 2012 to supplement my family’s income, even to the extent of working every day after school in a mobile phone shop for two years.”  Before that, he worked in a joss stick shop for 6 months.

His passion to create and design, plus an A in STPM Seni Visual, led him to pursue a Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design) degree at Universiti Putra Malaysia. His 4-year course starts 6 September 2017.

Han Rusan 

Determined to help change the future of her Orang Asli community

I come from a family of 12 siblings.  I am the 7th child.”“I am an Orang Asli and my village is called Ganggai in Felda Trolak, Perak. Life in my village is very tough because we don’t have the basic needs such as electricity.”This is Han Rusan a/p Yok Lot, one of the six students who have been awarded the 2017 Elena Cooke Education Fund.Han Rusan has just started her diploma on Early Childhood Education at Methodist College Kuala Lumpur (MCKL).

She says, “The reason I want Early Childhood course is I see a need in my OA community and I realize that without education, they will be left behind… I want to make a change in my community and I will show people that OA people can be successful in life if given the opportunity and motivation.”


Han Rusan with Miss Moey Yoke Lai

Her father is a rubber tapper who hardly earns enough to support his large family.  So when Han Rusan was 7, he left her with foster parents as he “wanted me to have a better future”.  Three younger siblings live in a church-run Home while the youngest two still stay with her parents.

Grateful to her foster parents for helping her get a good education which would not have been available in her home village, Han Rusan did them and her parents proud by scoring 3As and 1A- in last year’s SPM.

“I know it’s not easy to teach but I am not going to stand and watch my people left behind,” she says.


Nur Khairunniza bte Slamet Purwanto 

Late start but aspiring to finish with a 1st class degree

Nur Khairunniza bte Slamet Purwanto

Nur Khairunniza at the signing ceremony with Datin Noor Azimah Abd Rahim

Nur Khairunniza bte Slamet Purwanto had to do quite a bit of catch-up when she started school only in Standard 2.

“I never knew or experienced kindergarten and Standard 1,” she says. Taking about 6 months to learn to read and write, Nur finished her primary schooling with 4 As in her UPSR.

Home is a rented 2-room kampong house in Tanjong Kling, Melaka, where she is eldest of 5 siblings, the youngest of whom is just 5 years old.  Her father works as a laborer in Johor and manages to go back to the family once a month.  Mum ferries the kids to school some 2 km away on her motorbike.

Nur was a school prefect and, in Form 6, President of the Student Representative Council.

Her exposure to retail and customer service when she worked part time led her to want to pursue her university degree in Business Administration in the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).

Signing Ceremony #3

Nur Khairunniza with Datin Noor Azimah Abd Rahim, Ms Jennifer Cheong & Datin Seri Pang Ngan Yue.

Nur says that getting the Elena Cooke Education Fund scholarship “will motivate me to perform well in my studies and achieve a 1st class degree”.


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