Congratulations to the Class of 2018! We are so proud of you!
Written by Hannah Collins
With the year coming to a close, Aidha was proud to celebrate the graduation of the latest cohort of 110 students. The auditorium buzzed with excitement as the graduates entered, and they were welcomed with rapturous applause from their friends and employers!
Ms Jacqueline Loh, Aidha’s CEO shared a few words about Aidha’s future and our gratitude for all the support received from volunteers, donors, students, employers and friends.
In her welcome address, Aidha’s CEO Ms Jacqueline Loh congratulated the graduates for taking an important step to becoming masters of their own destiny. She praised their courage and perseverance in seizing the opportunity to change the trajectory of their lives.
Ms Loh also shared some of Aidha’s latest developments – in addition to enhancements to the curriculum and the development of new alumni support and mentorship programmes, Aidha continues to support other meaningful activities for students including our photography competition, sports day event and learning sessions facilitated by partners including BNY Mellon, Facebook and Google. With these additional activities, Aidha strives to cultivate a rich learning environment for students and alumni.
Ms Loh expressed her gratitude for volunteers, staff and employers of Aidha’s students for their support, and thanked the donors for their generous contributions.
The amazing Ms Anita Kapoor (who is a big supporter of Aidha) reminded us of our inner fire and strength!
This year’s keynote speech was delivered by Ms Anita Kapoor, two-time TEDx speaker, television host and presenter. She delivered a powerful speech celebrating the strength and inner fire in all the graduates. “There is no greater inspiration than witnessing all of you making something happen in your lives,” she said, “You inspire me to work harder and push myself further.” She encouraged the graduates to continue to live a life of fire and to make all their dreams come true.
“Baby you’re a FIREWORK!”
The keynote speech was followed by a dance by a group of Aidha graduating students who gave a wonderful, energetic performance to Katy Perry’s Firework, which aptly embodied Ms Anita Kapoor’s message to embrace their inner fire and let it burn bright!
Finally, it was time for the winners of the Personal Financial Plan and Business Plan Competition to present their prize-winning ideas.
Ms Sri Rohanah, the runner-up of the Business Plan Competition shared how her journey at Aidha has enabled her to pursue her dream of opening a baking store named “Sri Hanah Cakes Delight” in her hometown. She thanked her employers for supporting her through Aidha saying “By the end of 2016 my current employer encouraged me to enrol in Aidha. Most importantly, they fully funded my school fees.” She ended by saying “my cake is high quality, made with love and passion and a dream of a girl from small town who believes that hard work can help you to get where you want.”
Ms Musatomah, from Indonesia, won the top prize of the Business Plan Competition and talked about how she planned to use her education, experience and the support she received from Aidha to become a successful businesswoman by opening her own butchery in her hometown. She said, “Since young, I was driven to be independent and to become a successful businesswoman has been my lifelong goal,” she continued, “with the guidance of Aidha mentors, now I have a better view and clearer mindset to start putting together a plan and turn my dream of starting my own business into a reality.”
Ms Rara Anggriani, the first runner up of the Personal Financial Plan competition, shared her inspiring story of how she overcame a difficult childhood circumstance. She confidently declared, “Today, I am stronger than I was yesterday!”. Ms Anggriani plans to open a handmade candle business in her home-town and hopes to achieve her dream of being self-employed with the skills that she acquired at Aidha.
Ms Gleia M.D. Duenas, the winner of the Personal Financial Plan competition, spoke about how difficult it is to be away from her children. Not having the means to pursue further studies when she was younger, Ms Duenas wants to provide her daughters with the life and education she never had. She plans to achieve this by investing in property and a franchise coffee store and already has started earning extra income by renting out rooms in a property she now owns.
Mr Adam Lyle, board member of Austcham, who have been generously supporting Aidha’s annual graduation for many years, presented the prizes to our proud winners.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Aidha Personal Financial Plan and Business Plan Competitions!
The ceremony ended with all the graduating students on stage to receive their graduation certificates followed by an exhilarating performance by the graduates with choreography by Sari Marsden of Shakira’s, Try Everything. Their excitement and joy were contagious, as everyone in the audience got to their feet to celebrate with them!
Thank you to all the representatives of the Ministry of Manpower who attended, including Mr. Kevin Teoh, Divisional Director of the Foreign Manpower Management Division, as well as the embassy representatives who attended, especially, Ms. Hnin Nu Nu Aung, the Second Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and Mr Victorio Mario M Dimagiba, Jr, the Deputy Head of Mission / Minister and Consul General, Embassy of the Philippines in Singapore, who helped present the graduation certificates.
DAB IT LADIES! Thank you to Sari Marsden for choreographing this wonderful routine!
Congratulations to the class of 2018! May you continue to let your fire burn bright and chase your dreams!
More pictures below: