Disabled graduate follows her dream

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 August, 2007, 12:00am

Courage, perseverance and determination - all key qualities for success - were highlighted at the recent Hong Kong Baptist University graduation day ceremony.

Of the 531 students who received their degree certificates, no one demonstrated these qualities more than Truedy Ho Ka-yin, who received loud applause and cheers when she came on stage to pick up her certificate.

Ms Ho, 24, who has suffered from osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease) since birth, has defied all odds to complete her studies. Her illness makes her prone to bone fractures, forcing her to spend a lot of time in hospital.

'I was confined to a hospital bed from Primary Three to Secondary One,' she said. 'I had to take my exams in hospital.'

Despite her disability, Ms Ho is determined to pursue her dream of becoming a social worker.

'My illness has been a great hindrance to my studies, but I try to keep working and focusing on my goal,' Ms Ho said.

At the ceremony, 42 associate degree students received scholarships from the university in recognition of their outstanding academic performance and distinguished record of voluntary service.

The university also announced that 70 per cent of graduates from last year's associate degree scheme had qualified to follow degree programmes.

Of the 450 graduates who completed their associate degrees last year, 10 per cent headed overseas to further their studies, while 60 per cent earned places to follow degree courses offered by Hong Kong universities.