Winner of the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Scholarship Joanne Cheung plans to start social enterprise to help the needy

Joanne Cheung Tsz-yan, a final year BBA student in Accounting, has won the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Scholarship for Undergraduate and Diploma Students 2019/20. The Award recognises her excellent academic performance and commitment to helping children with Special Educational Needs (SEN).


“I am honoured and surprised to receive the scholarship, because it’s a very prestigious award, and only six students in Hong Kong were selected this year,” Cheung said. “I am very grateful to my academic advisor, Prof Nancy Su, who nominated me for the scholarship — and eventually I got it.”


With an average GPA score of 3.8, she has in fact gained several scholarships during her studies at Lingnan.


However, this high achiever was not initially an obvious candidate. Cheung was not a top performer in her secondary school days as well as in the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) exams.


“Living one day at a time was my regular approach to life. Luckily, my first turning point was being able to study at LU, where a valuable exchange opportunity allowed me to spend my summer break working at the Walt Disney World Resort in the US as a restaurant receptionist. I was also able to participate in a Taiwan study tour, where I acted as the career and life planning counsellor for some secondary school students.”


The well-rounded liberal arts education at LU has taught Joanne that the world is larger than she had imagined. She hopes to live up to the famous quote “As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.”


“This fruitful learning experience has expanded my horizons and improved my problem-solving skills. I plan to help more people in need, thus enhancing my own life. I am now tutoring part-time on a voluntary basis, spending two afternoons a week teaching after school at a primary school in Tuen Mun.”


Joanne believes that “learning is more important than scoring” and, with the strong determination and perseverance that she has developed through community service and study, her academic performance has advanced steadily. Unusually for a BBA graduate, she wants to become a social entrepreneur and help dyslexic children.


“For the first three years after I graduate, I would like to work as an auditor so as to accumulate some real-life work experience. I believe that it will help me to start a social enterprise later on, because I will be familiar with the business operations of different industries, and able to deal with clients from different companies and industries.”


Cheung wants to create a toolkit for children with dyslexia, to help them to learn the structure of Chinese characters. “As they are a minority, and perhaps overlooked by their teachers, I would like to create a toolkit to help improve their opportunities.”


But before starting her own business, Joanne plans to make good use of her scholarship for further studies.


“I wish to pursue a Master’s degree in Business Analytics because I believe technology is the future trend, and I want to learn how to incorporate technology in business.”


Established in 1987, the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund offers annual scholarships to local undergraduates and diploma students doing full-time programmes. It looks for outstanding academic performance and a demonstrated commitment to society. This is the second consecutive year that a LU student has been awarded the scholarship. Each recipient will receive a one-off grant of HK$40,000.

Winner of the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Scholarship Joanne Cheung

Owing to the current Covid-19 pandemic,
Prof Leonard K Cheng, President of Lingnan University (right),
and Joanne Cheung (middle) greet each other with an elbow bump.