Every year, whenever the SPM results are announced, I'd be eagerly waiting to find out the results of the children under the Buddies Sponsorship Program. 5 of our sponsored children sat for their SPM in 2016 : 3 girls and 2 boys. For the 2 boys, it had been obvious from day 1 that they had never been academically inclined. So my target is for them to go for vocational training.
As for the girls, I was so happy when my client texted me on Thursday to inform me that her daughter managed to score straight A's. But I was even more elated the next day when I found out that another girl scored 5A, 2B and 2C.
Why was I more excited for the one who scored 5A's compared to the one who scored 9A's? Because the girl who scored straight A's, although she too comes from a poor family and received financial support from our sponsorship program, faced her exams in a more conducive environment. She went to a fully residential school since form one. Although the girl still did exceptionally well, the straight A's didn't really come as a surprise.
The second girl, in contrast, had to struggle. At 15, she was raped. When she sat for her PMR, she was pregnant. By the end of the same year, she gave birth to a cute little baby girl. And guess what? Although the baby was born from a rape case, she didn't want to give the baby away because she loves kids. She stopped going to school despite scoring 6A 2B for her PMR, and instead registered to study for a 2 year culinary course at a private college. At 17, while she was still studying culinary, she registered to sit for SPM as a private candidate. I was already impressed back then. Her determination was admirable. I don't know if I can do well studying on my own for a single subject without the help of a teacher or tutor, she registered for 9! The moment her mother told me that this girl was embarrassed to tell me her SPM results, I thought she didn't do too well. I'd still be proud of her, no matter what her results show. Her determination alone impressed me.
So when the mother said the girl scored 5A, 2B and 2C (the A's include Maths, Accounting and Economics), I was elated! I immediately told the mother to make it clear to her daughter that I was PROUD of her.
Tomorrow I plan to visit the girl. I want to tell her straight in her face how proud I am of her. I also want to discuss her options. I do know she wants to further her studies, hopefully I can give her some advice based on her strength and interest. She has gone through so much in her young life, she certainly deserves all the support she can get.