Having benefited from student financial aid, Ms Regini Lee (Computing ’22) now gives back by contributing to the Plant-It-Forward Challenge Challenge — merging her support for education with her passion for the environment.

When Ms Regini Lee was offered a place to study Computing at the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Malaysian national initially hesitated because she would be a full‑fee-paying international student. Deciding that a good education was a worthy investment, her family took out loans, and she accepted the offer. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, her father’s corporate training consultancy faced challenges as he could no longer conduct in‑person courses.

Fortunately, Ms Lee found financial relief from the University’s bursary donors. “During those troubled times, NUS kindly granted financial aid to me in the form of a donated bursary,” the 24-year-old shares. “That was when I met my bursary donors, Mr Yeo Keng Joon (Business '85) and Ms Kong Yuet Peng (Business '86). I will always be thankful for their support.” Ms Lee completed her education, earning a Bachelor of Computing in Information Systems with Honours (Merit) in 2022. She now works as an Enterprise Architect and Engineer at the United Overseas Bank.

Through Mr Yeo and Ms Kong, Ms Lee became aware of the NUS Plant-It-Forward Challenge. This initiative not only supports the University’s Enhanced Financial Aid Scheme for students in financial need, but also has an environmental focus: Every S$1,000 gift will be recognised with a tree planted on one of the NUS campuses.

Drawing from her experience as a bursary recipient, Ms Lee understands the significance of financial aid to students in need. “I was planning on giving back to the school anyway, and once I started working, I decided to support the initiative,” she says.

While Ms Lee has given back to society in various ways, this is her first one-off cash gift. In secondary school, she organised a book donation drive for underprivileged children. She also volunteers weekly with food distribution charity Food from the Heart. “I like the Plant-It-Forward Challenge because it helps financially needy students and combats climate change,” she explains.

Ms Lee believes that the initiative offers an easy option for individuals to make a substantial environmental impact, extending beyond the act of reducing plastic waste. “Supporting such an initiative with the right resources to help plant trees is very appealing to me,” the nature lover says. “ I sincerely hope that the Plant-It-Forward Challenge will be a success — achieving its goal of helping financially needy NUS students and building a greener future. I also hope that my gift will alleviate the financial burden of a fellow student and inspire them to do the same in the future, as it did for me.”

On the potential concerns of fresh graduates about giving back, she adds: “Every dollar counts, and you’re welcome to give whatever amount you’re comfortable with. There’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. It’s the thought that counts.”

Join the Plant-It-Forward Challenge today to build a better future for students and the earth alike. Make a Gift today!