Shopee Engineer Keeps Paying It Forward

Ms Daphne Won, Shopee Engineer

Bursary recipient-turned donor Ms Daphne Won.

Having benefited greatly from bursary support rendered by alumni and faculty members, Ms Daphne Won knows very well how financial aid can go a long way in helping to defray university expenses. Now an accomplished Shopee engineer, she has not forgotten to pay it forward.

Being granted the SoC Pay-It-Forward Bursary was just the support Ms Daphne Won Jun Ru (‘18) needed to successfully complete her degree in Computer Science at NUS.

The Bursary gave her the critical push she needed, while helping to open doors of opportunity.

Coming from a low-income family of five, Ms Won’s mother worked in the F&B sector and was the family’s sole breadwinner. Prior to receiving financial aid, Ms Won had to take on a part-time job to afford the fees for her freshmen orientation camp. In fact, she would leave her camp midway in order to get to work on time.

The Bursary she received enabled Ms Won to afford university necessities — a laptop and secondhand textbooks. What’s more, it even gave her the chance to join her friends on a budget graduation trip to Hong Kong.

“On top of being able to afford the necessities for school, the Bursary gave me more time to build friendships, which made my campus life both rewarding and life-changing,” Ms Won shared.

This experience had also motivated her to give back in various ways during her time in university.

With time freed up to be at school instead of taking up part-time work, Ms Won found that she could fully immerse herself in university life and delve into other areas she was passionate about.

Taking up the LSM1303 Animal Behaviour module, Ms Won and her friends took the initiative to create an application for animal activists to track wild animals. Although there was no funding channelled towards the application, Ms Won’s passion did not wane. She continued to educate her friends and family — and now her colleagues too — on the dos and don’ts when being around wild animals.

Grateful to have been able to continue on her computer science journey, Ms Won is currently employed at Shopee, a popular Singaporean e-commerce platform that serves users in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.

Heartened by how the NUS SoC Pay-It-Forward Bursary has impacted and supported her throughout her schooling years, Ms Won also gives regularly to the fund.

“My contributions may not bring immediate change, but our future depends on the choices we make today,” she remarked.