Sharing of Scholarship Recipients - RAMOS Mark Musette Alger
RAMOS Mark Musette Alger (Government and International Studies)
Recipient of HKSAR Government Scholarship 2020-21
Ever since I was a kid, my parents always said, “we will support you no matter what”. This was their mantra, all throughout the ups and downs of my life. I was lucky enough to be blessed with parents that went against the stereotypes of “Asian tiger parents”. However, this seemed to be compensated for in other things. When I moved to Hong Kong in Form 4, I was put into a band 3 school, which was the only institution that would accept my existing qualifications from the Philippines. There, I was met with peers who did not have much motivation to study, and many of the teachers seemed to have accepted it. Given that it was predominantly an ethnic minority school, some of my teachers often mentioned “realistic” career paths for us, such as food & beverage, construction, and food delivery.
However, I also had a handful of teachers who said the exact opposite; that we can achieve so much more if we put effort in; that being an ethnic minority professional in Hong Kong is a possible dream. At first, I was just doing enough to get by, but their encouragement and the extra hours they put in helped me catch up with the DSE curriculum. They enrolled me into various competitions and opportunities, which I did not have the confidence to do myself at the time. They guided me every step of the way, and at the end of Form 4, I even had a teacher who said she will personally help me move to a better school where I will be provided with the resources to maximise my potential – and she did.
By Form 6, I had learned and realised a lot of things. I had grown confident in my own skills, but more importantly, I lost the fear of making mistakes and I had the hunger to learn more. It dawned on me that reattempts are only as finite as your willingness to endure. That even with resources scattered all around you, it will ultimately boil down to how you react to it. That nothing is ever too late, even if you are a new arrival with three years to adapt to a starkly different curriculum.
This scholarship award is normally meant to acknowledge students’ achievements. However, I would like for my award to signify the joint efforts of everyone, including now, who propelled me to where I am today. These are the people who taught me to believe in myself when others, including myself, did not. The same people who refused to reduce me to a stereotype and saw my potential when never in my wildest dreams did I even picture myself setting foot in a university. The individuals who emanated so much compassion that it will influence my life forever.
Believing in someone can be as simple as saying “we will support you no matter what,” but it can completely change someone’s life forever. And this, I dedicate myself to paying forward.