The News spoke to Hilliam in 2019, and checked in again to find out how he was getting on, and how the scholarship scheme had helped him at university.
The beneficiary of a scheme that covers the full cost of tuition fees for Southwark-raised students has urged others to sign up before the deadline shuts this Monday, May 16.
The Southwark Scholarship Award is for young people from low-income backgrounds heading for higher education, and worried about the financial burden.
Hilliam Tung, a 2018 scholarship winner from Elephant and Castle says that, without the grant, he would have worked throughout university and missed out on vital networking opportunities.
The 22-year-old final year mathematics and computer science masters student at Imperial College London, said: “It was really tough growing up with my mum constantly working, pay check to pay check, just to have enough to pay rent.
“The scholarship took off the financial burden and gave me the opportunity to mix socially, and made it easier to take opportunities that came up.”
Such opportunities included internships at software start-ups such as number8 and NayaOne.
Meet the students able to afford uni thanks to Southwark Council’s scholarship scheme
Asked if others should apply for the scheme, he said: “I would definitely say so.”
Hilliam is also an Imperial Student Union trustee, giving him shared responsibility for an £8 million budget.
He also leads the Computing Society and its ‘Hackathons’, hacking competitions involving 500 university students from across the country.
The 2022 Southwark Scholarship Award, only to be given to a few students, has now had its deadline extended to May 16.
Applicants must be under 25, come from a low-income background, and have lived in Southwark for at least the past three years.
They must also have a proven record of positive community engagement, and a history of academic achievement.
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Since the Southwark Scholarship scheme began in 2011, it. has helped 121 young people pursue higher education.
The scholarship award covers the full cost of tuition fees for their chosen undergraduate university course.
Successful scholars have gone on to careers in education, law, medicine, engineering and other fields.
By investing in the Southwark Scholarship Scheme, the council says it “hopes to narrow the pay and skills gap between young people who come from financially challenged households compared to young people who come from privileged backgrounds”.
Hilliam is now applying to software engineering roles and hopes to one day start a philanthropic hedge fund that gives back to the community.
Find out more: https://www.southwark.gov.uk/jobs-and-careers/help-you-to-find-a-job-or-training/southwark-scholarship-scheme-2021