"Do not be discouraged; nothing is impossible if we are determined. Hard work never fails to produce results," stated Aji Malik, a 2013 participant in the Education Assistance Program for Students around Bukit Asam (Bidiksiba).
Aji, who was born into a low-income family, found it difficult to attend university. His father was a day laborer, while his mother was a peddler.
However, he was able to secure a Bidiksiba scholarship from PT Bukit Asam Tbk (PTBA) and pursued his dreams due to his determination and hard work. With qualified academic achievements at Bina Mulya Tanjung Enim Vocational School, he applied for the Bidiksiba Program in 2013.
"I told my father I wanted to go to college but with a sorrowful heart, my father said that he did not have the money. But because I wanted to develop, I applied for a Bidiksiba scholarship," Aji explained.
He passed the Bidiksiba selection and studied at Sriwijaya University's Faculty of Law. With the Bidiksiba scholarship, he didn't have to worry about tuition or living expenses, allowing him to focus on his studies.
"The Bidiksiba scholarship provides exceptional benefits. I don’t have to worry about operational costs. I can attend lecture activities well," he said.
Aji was also grateful for PTBA sharing experience, insight, and good relationships to the participants of the Bidiksiba Program.
"We were involved in PTBA CSR team activities during the semester break. We were taught soft skills and directly involved in PTBA activities. In 2014 I was assigned to survey Semendo Village for a week about the benefits of the PTBA waterwheel and stayed there for a week," said Aji sharing his experience during his participation in PTBA's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
After graduated from the Faculty of Law at Unsri in 2017, he worked as HRD in a private company. Then, in 2021, he passed the Civil Servant Candidate Test (CPNS) and was admitted to the Supreme Court (MA). Aji is now a Candidate Judge in the Sibuhuan Religious Court in North Sumatra.
"I'd like to thank PTBA on behalf of my friends. We have reached to this position because PTBA is involved. Thank you for all of the opportunities to make our parents and community proud," he said.
The Bidiksiba program is PTBA's commitment to breaking the cycle of poverty through education. This scholarship has been awarded to 328 people between 2010 and 2022.
Besides Bidiksiba, PTBA has other programs to help the community in the field of education. There is "Ayo Sekolah" program that distributes scholarship to underprivileged students. Also, the National Movement for Eradication of Illiteracy in Mathematics (Gernas Tastaka) and the National Movement for Eradication of Illiteracy in Reading (Gernas Tastaba) to improve the mathematics competency of Muara Enim Regency primary school teachers.