TRAILBLAZER GENERAL FUND
The Trailblazer General Fund focuses on:
- Sponsoring the education and development of Singaporeans who have unique talent or innovative ideas and who can make a difference to the community;
- Sponsoring the education and development of ASEAN students who are studying or training in Singapore;
- Sponsoring events and programmes to enrich opportunities for youths and the disabled to enable them to excel.
Individuals or organisations who are seeking funds can submit a brief proposal.
LIVES WE HAVE TOUCHED
“I am grateful that Trailblazer Foundation believed in me and my ability to achieve the Grandmaster title, something that is widely considered to be unattainable as an amateur player.” - Kevin Goh
As an amateur player, it was my dream as a kid to one day become a Chess Grandmaster. I managed to achieve the International Master title in 2007 and I felt making a leap from International Master to GrandMaster was something far beyond anything I could attain. Hence, I decided to focus on my career and played in tournaments sporadically.
In 2010, I suffered a severe set-back when I lost my place in the Singapore Olympiad team and followed that up with a truly horrific performance at the Malaysian Open Chess Championships. Furious with myself and wanting to prove a point, I decided to sacrifice one year of my career to see just how far I could go in chess. Transiting from a recreational player to virtually a professional player who trains 10 hours daily with no income was hardly a straightforward affair but after serious coaching, preparation and good fortune, I made my first and second GM norm in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
Thereafter, I rejoined the workforce, changed jobs twice and became the CFO of a leading molecular diagnostics start-up specialising in the field of Oncology. Making the 3rd norm and crossing 2500 proved to be a formidable task but fortunately I made it on 3rd March 2020.
Trailblazer’s financial assistance throughout my entire 10-year journey was extremely critical without which I would not have been able to participate in so many tournaments in Europe, or engage a world-class trainer to guide me on the right path. I am grateful that Trailblazer Foundation believed in me and my ability to achieve the Grandmaster title, something that is widely considered to be unattainable as an amateur player.
“...it is imperative that I grow as a leader in order to push for more diversity and inclusivity in the performing arts scene in Singapore and internationally.” - Shaza Ishak
Pursuing my MA in Creative Producing at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London has been a dream of mine for many years and it would not have been possible without the generosity of the Trailblazer Foundation.
Spending the year studying in London was incredibly fruitful in exposing me to new ideas and thinking. I was introduced to many international peers who were instrumental in pushing me to further interrogate and advance my practice.
As the General Manager of Teater Ekamatra, a Singaporean ethnic minority theatre company, it is imperative that I grow as a leader in order to push for more diversity and inclusivity in the performing arts scene in Singapore and internationally.
“I am so grateful for the support, which is incredibly crucial for a young artist like myself to receive exposure and gain experience.” - Evangeline Ng Qiao Jun
My participation at Scuola di Belcanto in Italy was truly an incredible and life-changing experience for me. In the 3 weeks, we had lessons/coachings as well as Italian language classes every day. I truly experienced the Italian culture in the tiny town of Urbania and I have had the opportunity to work with Matthew Rose (program head, and also the new Artistic Consultant of the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Program), as well as incredible coaches from La Scala, Royal Opera House, etc.
Having to work with my teacher Joan Patenaude-Yarnell intensely over the summer also prepared me very well for my second year back at Manhattan School of Music. I have been casted in some of the most outstanding and competitive ensembles within the school. I was also invited to participate in the Singapore Lyric Opera ASEAN Vocal Competition 2018 (Professional Category).
I am so grateful for the support, which is incredibly crucial for a young artist like myself to receive exposure and gain experience.
“We want to tell the Singapore story with her distinct diverse ethnic cultures and support young Singaporean musicians to grow in their artistic journey.” - NUS Centre For the Arts
The NUS Centre For the Arts (CFA) provides rich and varied on-campus opportunities for every student to be transformed by the arts. It connects academic leaders, established artists, and passionate students to create unique performances, exhibitions, and experiences.
The Ho Hwee Long Music Score Commission Fund was established by CFA to promote home-grown composing talents and provide Singaporean bands with a wider local repertoire of music compositions. This effort will build a meaningful library of locally commissioned music not just for NUS Wind Symphony but also other wind bands in Singapore. We want to tell the Singapore story with her distinct diverse ethnic cultures and support young Singaporean musicians to grow in their artistic journey.
We want to thank the Trailblazer Foundation for its generous support that has enabled us to honour Associate Prof Ho Hwee Long and ensure the continuity of locally commissioned scores.
“The ideas shared by the various doctors from their various subspecialties and vast experience had me broadening my mind not only in terms of mountain medicine but also in terms of healthcare systems and delivery of health around the world.” - Kumaran Rasappan
The Nepalese Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM) 2017 course, run by the Mountain Medicine Society of Nepal (MMSN), was an extremely enriching experience being amongst like-minded people and some of the giants of the mountain medicine community in the world.
The ideas shared by the various doctors from their various subspecialties and vast experience had me broadening my mind not only in terms of mountain medicine but also in terms of healthcare systems and delivery of health around the world. The friendships and memories forged in the foothills of the Himalayas will remain forever. The resources and contacts gathered from the course have been invaluable.
“The opportunity to further develop my skills was made possible by Trailblazer Foundation which stood by me generously throughout my Masters studies in Conservatorio Della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland.” - Theophilus Tan
Being part of the Concordia quartet under Resound Collective in Singapore is a rewarding and exciting new journey, to introduce our passion and music to the local community.
I am very fortunate and grateful to be able to pursue the cello professionally at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory under full scholarship. The opportunity to further develop my skills was made possible by Trailblazer Foundation which stood by me generously throughout my Masters studies in Conservatorio Della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland.
It is very encouraging to see the classical music scene developing in Singapore and as part of a new professional string quartet, I definitely look forward to the many concerts and learning opportunities to come!
“This scholarship is not only a financial aid but I also take it as a strong encouragement and appreciation to all the efforts I have put in for my study.” - Yee Hui Ying
I am currently in Beijing completing my Biomedical Science and Chinese Medicine double degree which is a joint program between NTU and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine (BUCM). My dream started with wanting to keep my family healthy and then it grows. Eventually I want to become a Chinese Medicine physician with an outstanding ability in alleviating pains and saving people’s lives.
Ever since I was exposed to Trailblazer Foundation, I have experienced an unforgettable turnaround in my university life. This scholarship is not only a financial aid but I also take it as a strong encouragement and appreciation to all the efforts I have put in for my study.
After I graduate, I will be a responsible Chinese Medicine physician and contribute my best to the society.
“Today, I compose for various ensembles, conduct premieres of new works, and teach at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (NUS). Definitely a dream come true!” - Chen Zhangyi
Music is a passion that I have pursued without much hesitation from a very young age; thanks in part to the support that is fortunately available in Singapore. In my early secondary school days at Anglican High, I already knew that I wanted to do music.
I managed to get into the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory after my NS, and majored in Composition; which eventually led me to the Peabody Institute in the US. I was very fortunate to have the Trailblazer Foundation play a supportive role as a sponsor when I pursued my graduate studies, as I went on to complete my degrees in Composition and Theory Pedagogy.
Today, I compose for various ensembles, conduct premieres of new works, and teach at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (NUS). Definitely a dream come true!
Please click here to view news article on Chen Zhangyi.
“I have been sailing for 18 years of my life, and from a young age, I have been spurred by my competitive spirit to represent Singapore at the highest level of sailing at the Olympics.” - Colin Cheng
I feel very privileged to have had the support of the Trailblazer Foundation to realise my dream. It has allowed me to focus entirely on putting on my best performance at the Games.
Over the course of the Olympics campaign I have become a more well-rounded sailor because I had to overcome numerous setbacks and distractions. In the process I have learnt more about myself. I worked with a diverse independent training group headed by an Australian coach; training with sailors from Norway, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, Italy, and even acting as a translator for Chinese sailors.
I have been fortunate enough to experience different cultures in a variety of venues, and seen for myself the differences and similarities these societies share.
“Talent development does not happen in a vacuum; I have been very fortunate to be able to pursue and realise my dreams in teaching, performing, and researching dance.” - Joey Chua
For my PhD thesis, I investigated the talent development of dancers in Finland and Singapore. The results revealed that social support – emotional, informational, and instrumental support —from significant people is a major catalyst.
Talent development does not happen in a vacuum; I have been very fortunate to be able to pursue and realise my dreams in teaching, performing, and researching dance. I owe this to a number of benefactors, and Trailblazer is one of them.
“As part of the EQUAL Therapy program, beneficiaries attend sixteen sessions (each lasting between 2.5 to 3 hours) that have target outcomes focusing on achieving cognitive-behavioural change through participation in equine-related activities.” - EQUAL-ARK Singapore
EQUAL-ARK Singapore Ltd is an Institution of a Public Character (IPC) under the Ministry of Social and Family Development. EQUAL-ARK provides equine (EQUAL) therapy to its clients.
EQUAL Therapy is a psycho-social intervention programme that caters to vulnerable youth. Our programme has also been adapted to deliver character and citizenship education (CCE) to NorthLight School and Spectra Secondary School.
In 2011, the Trailblazer General Fund and the T-Touch Fund had each provided $211,000 towards a 3-year pilot EQUAL therapy project for students of NorthLight School, Assumption Pathway and two other special schools.
Since then, EQUAL-ARK has been working with over 12 organisations and 1000 beneficiaries, growing from 80 to 400 beneficiaries per year.Read more
“I am now living my childhood dream of becoming a footwear designer in London.” - Firdaos Bin Rasiff
I am now living my childhood dream of becoming a footwear designer in Cordwainers College in London and the journey has been nothing short of a blast. Coming from a small island, and a humble background should not stop you from chasing your dreams.
With integrity, determination, perseverance and the desire for constant self-improvement, nothing is impossible. The Trailblazer Foundation has been instrumental and extremely helpful in my endeavour.
“I have performed in numerous recitals in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and London focusing on repertoire for the Horn in various solo and chamber combination.” - Kartik Alan
I hold a Bachelors of Music (Honors) from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and a Masters of Music in Performance (Distinction) from the Royal College of Music, London. My education was generously supported by National Arts Council Singapore, Lee Foundation and Trailblazer Foundation. I was also the recipient of the Michael Quinn Award from the Royal College of Music.
I have performed in numerous recitals in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and London focusing on repertoire for the Horn in various solo and chamber combination. I am also one of the founding members of the wind quintet EDQ who were the finalist and winner of the Composer's Prize at the prestigious 7th International Henri Tomasi Wind Quintet competition.
I joined the Singapore Symphony Orchestra as section horn from the 2015/2016 concert season.
“I transformed from a naive young man, full of ambitions, to an undergraduate who is passionate about the built environment.” - Kock Ming Tai
The past two years in Singapore have been an amazing journey for my personal growth. I transformed from a naïve young man, full of ambitions, to an undergraduate who is passionate about the built environment. For me, finding the right scholarship was a lengthy process. The Trailblazer scholarship was a God-send.
I am currently pursuing a double-degree programme - Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Arts in Economics at the NTU. One of my recent achievements was to be placed on the Dean’s List of the NTU School of Humanities and Social Sciences. I could not have made it without support from Trailblazer Foundation.
I now live in a place away from home and I shudder at the thought of where my destiny is going to bring me; but at my core, I am still passionate about creating a better, livable society.
“Since young, I enjoy Mathematics very much as I see a lot of fun in it!” - Liang Yong Shi
I am currently pursuing a Bachelor in Mathematical Sciences (Year 3) at the NTU. Since young, I enjoy Mathematics very much as I see a lot of fun in it! Mathematics expresses itself almost everywhere in our lives; be it in nature all around us or in technologies in our hands.
I appreciate the opportunity to pursue a degree in Mathematical Sciences in such a prestigious university, but this dream can never be possible without Trailblazer Foundation! Thanks Trailblazer for providing me with such a golden opportunity.
“A key part of my motivation is in spreading appreciation and involvement with the arts, both as a teacher and in charity and social work with lower-income and under-represented communities.” - Nabillah Jalal
I graduated from the Royal College of Music with a Bachelor of Music, majoring in Piano Performance in 2016. I have been playing the piano since I was four but it never crossed my mind that I would pursue Music at university level. Four years of living overseas has taught me to be an independent woman; to transcend circumstances and to always trust the process. I was given the opportunity to perform widely in Europe but the highlight was my first post-graduation project as music director for a British-Singapore collaboration where we explored the idea of marrying traditional Malay music and dance with contemporary music and dance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. My time there has made me realise that I am in a position where I can be an ambassador for Malay music.
A key part of my motivation is in spreading appreciation and involvement with the arts, both as a teacher and in charity and social work with lower-income and under-represented communities. In 2017, I will be piloting an after-school arts programme for low-income Malay primary school students in a mosque in Singapore; with plans to expand this programme islandwide in the next 3 years.
In trying times, my roots to home, “Di mana bumi dipijak, di situ langit di junjung”, give me faith and keep me grounded.
Please click here to view news article on Nabillah Jalal.
“I champion the importance of storytelling in the Singaporean culture and hope to create tales which will bring smiles to faces all around the world.” - Darel Seow
I am a storyteller who illustrates the tales of the natural world through my unique brand of wry wit and whimsy. I am an illustration graduate of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London.
I enjoy working with museums and cultural institutions where my work encourages imagination and learning through play. I champion the importance of storytelling in the Singaporean culture and hope to create tales which will bring smiles to faces all around the world.
“My dream is to eventually contribute towards the development of the arts and culture in Singapore.” - Song Ziliang
My musical journey started in 2004 when I left Singapore to further my studies in piano performance at the Moscow Conservatory and the Royal College of Music, London. Being at the heart of Europe, I was able to witness first-hand the vibrant music scene overseas, bringing me closer to the type of art form that I was pursuing. This led me to wonder if our local music scene was capable of reaching or even surpassing that in Europe. On the other hand, my stint overseas also led me to appreciate Singapore much more, from the infrastructure to our wonderful Singapore cuisine.
With the intention to contribute towards the arts and music scene, I returned to Singapore in 2012 and started teaching piano performance at NAFA. In 2013, I joined MOE as a teacher in Music and Elements of Business Skills. My journey in MOE allows me to share music with more than 1000 students annually and broadens my horizons in the field of education. My dream is to eventually contribute towards the development of the arts and culture in Singapore as a policy maker in public administration; in return for the extraordinary trust the Trailblazer Foundation has placed in me through taking care of my education and musical journey through the years.
Please click here to view news article on Song Ziliang.
“I hope to set up the first baroque orchestra in Singapore, and spread my passion for historically-informed music and dance through teaching and performing.” - Tan Qin Ying
I am currently a doctoral candidate in harpsichord performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music. I have performed throughout the world. This includes the United States of America, China, Germany, France, Malaysia, and my home, Singapore.
I hope to set up the first baroque orchestra in Singapore, and spread my passion for historically-informed music and dance through teaching and performing.