Failing his IT engineering course in ITE didn’t discourage Hizai from wanting to improve himself. Instead, he continued his studies in Infocomm Technology and specialised in developing mobile applications, where he thrived in the hands-on learning environment.
Luckily for Hizai, the financial aid he receives as an awardee of the Income OrangeAid Future Development Programme means he is able to focus more on doing well in school, without worrying about his school fees or the money he needs to buy the materials required for his course.
Hizai did well eventually to attend Ngee Ann Polytechnic, where he is now a second-year multimedia and animation student.
The heavier workload at the Polytechnic meant Hizai has to devote more time to his studies. As such, he had to give up his part-time job as a pizza deliveryman, even though he needed the money to pay for the household expenses. His father was paralysed from a stroke, leaving his mum as the sole breadwinner for the family of six.
“I’m glad to have friends who will lend me their laptops and offer help. Even then, the A2 colour posters I need for my projects cost up to $16 each, so every little bit of help I get makes a difference,” he said.
On how he learned to cope with his tight financial situations, Hizai shrugged his shoulders and said: “If you can avoid getting something, just avoid it. If you know it’s expensive, don’t buy it. But if it is something you have to buy, then prioritise the payment for it before you do anything else.”
Hizai is one of 400 Income OrangeAid’s Future Development Programme awardees in 2016. As part of this programme, he not only receives financial aid, but also basic financial literacy training, personal career coaching, as well as, access to internships. And with his career path well-defined and on track now, Hizai could one day, with the support of Income OrangeAid, design the next award-winning health app that could change lives all around the world.