Szeto Kin and Lai Yue-sum were filled with gratitude on their graduation day. Thanks to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarship Scheme, they were able to finish their study and pursue a dream career. The scheme was established by the club's charities trust in 1998 and has helped more than 300 local and mainland students, giving them HK$300,000 over three years. 'The scholarship has made a huge difference in my life,' says Szeto, 23, who graduated from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts this year. His father died when he was in primary school and his older brother quit school to support the family. When Szeto decided he wanted to study music, with a focus on the Chinese erhu, his family objected. 'I can understand why. Music is not practical like maths or science,' he says. 'I felt guilty, too, because my brother had given up his study for the family and here I was, insisting on my dream.' But, thanks to the scholarship, he was able to do a bachelor's degree before landing a position with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. The scholarship allowed Yue-sum, 23, to obtain an education degree at the University of Hong Kong and become a teacher. 'The scholarship meant I did not have to work part-time while studying. It has also helped finance my younger sister, who's studying in the same faculty now,' she says. Lai is now teaching at St Paul's College.