Monday, 14 November 2016

Elia Sinaga: Improving Her Life through Education

Coming from a humble background, Elia Veronika Sinaga holds a determination to improve her family’s living condition through education.  Currently, Elia is enrolling in the Agriculture Product Technology program of Jambi University’s Agriculture Technology Faculty.

Elia was born in Ujung Batu Rokan, Riau, on 24 Oktober 1996.  When she was ten years old, she and her family moved to Jambi because her father was accepted as a permanent oil palm laborer at PT Dasa Anugerah Sejati, one of Asian Agri’s subsidiary companies.  Her mother, meanwhile, assisted her father’s work as a non-permanent daily laborer.

As the second of five children, Elia understands very well her parents’ struggles to support the family. However, she is determined to continue her study.  She believes that education is the key that opens different  opportunities which subsequently will improve her future.

”My father and older sibling always push me to study diligently and continue my study to a higher level.  They hope that I can bring a change for the family in the future,” said Elia.

Elia has been able to maintain her academic performance since her days at primary school. She often represented her schools in various competitions.  For example, she supported her high school to take part in a Tanjung Jabung Barat District aptitude competition and won the second place prize. With these academic achievements, Elia felt confident to enroll in a university.

However, the beginning of her university years was difficult for Elia.  To support costs such as tuition  fee and cost of living, her father had to work extra hard to get bonus from the company.  Later on, her father asked Elia to seek for a scholarship in order to ease the family’s financial burden.

(Read: List of Non Binding Scholarships)

“My father is getting old. He is not as strong as before and might not be able to carry out extra work anymore. In the beginning I helped the family by selling minutes for mobile phones and doing small-scale online clothes business.  When I found out that Tanoto Foundation was opening the scholarship selection process, I did not waste this opportunity,” Elia recalled.

Elia managed to get a Tanoto Foundation National Champion Scholarship in 2016.  She is very thankful that now she can focus on her study without having to worry about the costs.  Not only that, she is also more motivated to maintain her academic grades.

(Read: : List of Binding Scholarships)

“If the academic grades a Tanoto Scholar falls below the requirements, the scholarships can be withdrawn,” said Elia.  “This is a motivation for me.  In addition to receiving financial support, I am even more challenged to maintain, or even increase my academic achievement.”

Elia is also motivated by her plans for the future. She aspires to work in one of the companies owned by Sukanto Tanoto. We at Tanoto Foundation also hope she will continue to study hard so she can achieve her goals and improve her life as well.

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