3 Hwa Chong students have been awarded the Lee Hsien Loong Award for Outstanding Bicultural Students, the most number of award-winners of any school in this category. This follows up from 2014, where 2 Hwa Chong students achieved the award from 4 available.
This is further recognition of Hwa Chong’s Bicultural Studies (China) Programme, which saw a record 9 alumni admitted to the world renowned Peking University in 2014. The Bicultural Studies Programme, pioneered by Hwa Chong, seeks to allow students to appreciate their cultural inheritance, learn about China, as well as understand contemporary Chinese developments.
China’s continued and increasing involvement in the global economy means that the nurturing of bilingual leaders who can serve the nation is crucial, and we are confident that the Bicultural Studies Programme will be able to achieve this goal.
There were a total of 12 Hwa Chong students who were conferred the MOE Special Awards 2015. The award-recipients are:
Prime Minister’s Book Prize – Secondary Category
(Increase from 2014)
Matthew Ng Cheng Eng (15S6G)
Valerie Yeo (15S72)
Xu Xinyue Selina (15A14)
Prime Minister’s Book Prize – Pre-University Category
(Hwa Chong students garnered more than half the awards)
Chan Chin Kiat (13S72)
Chen Zi Ying Chloe (13S72)
Liew Ting Ting (13A12)
Lim Kar Sin Katherine (13S66)
Lim Yu Xin (13S72)
Neo Hui Yuan (13A12)
Lee Kuan Yew Award for Mathematics and Science – Secondary Category
Lor Jun Heng (15S7B)
Lee Kuan Yew Award for Mathematics and Science – Pre-University Category
Chik Cheng Yao (13S7B)
Lee Hsien Loong Award for Outstanding Bicultural Students
(3 out of 4 Award Winners from Hwa Chong)
Chan Chin Kiat (13S72)
Chen Zi Ying Chloe (13S72)
He Chen (13S6E)
Congratulations to all our award winners, and their teachers, for their outstanding achievements!
Hwa Chong’s 2015 Special Awards Prize Winners
At the Ceremony, winner of the Prime Minister’s Book Prize (Secondary) and the Lee Kuan Yew Award for All-Round Excellence, Xu Xinyue Selina (15A14), spoke about her passion to contribute to both society and nation. Her speeches, which were delivered in both English and Mandarin, are featured below.
SPEECH BY XU XINYUE SELINA,
Winner of the Prime Minister’s Book Prize (Secondary) and
the Lee Kuan Yew Award for All-Round Excellence
at the Special Awards Presentation Ceremony 2015
A very good afternoon to our Guest-of-Honour,
Ms Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Mr Wong Siew Hoong, Director-General of Education,
Ladies and gentlemen.
1. I am Selina, from Hwa Chong Institution, and also from the Nanyang Girls' High School Class of 2014. I am incredibly honoured and humbled to be standing here today. I would first like to start off by congratulating not just my fellow students who have been outstanding in various endeavours, but also the parents, teachers, family and friends who have rooted for all of us in our education journey so far. You have challenged us, nurtured us and motivated us at equal intervals — today the biggest "thank you" goes to you.
2. My education journey so far has been very blessed. I'm grateful to have been born in a family that values character, knowledge and cultural heritage. Since I was a child, there have been many visits to libraries, museums and theatres and numerous globetrotting adventures. My parents sparked off in me a curiosity about the world, a passion for languages and a capacity for imagination. They've also taught me by example the importance of being a person of integrity, courage and kindness, and very significantly, the importance of being grateful for what we have. To my parents who are seated in the audience, thank you for your unconditional love and for all the sacrifices you've made to give me a good start in life. I love you.
3. My teachers have also played irreplaceable roles in my pursuit of the languages. To Mr Tan Ying Kiat, the most inspiring English teacher I've ever had, thank you for instilling in me confidence in my English capabilities and for teaching me to discover, through literature, the common humanity that lies within all.
4. I spent my most transformative years in Nanyang Primary and Nanyang Girls' High School. To Nanyang I owe my biggest thanks. It was there where I had the most incredible opportunities and room to delve into my interests, which allowed me to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Through a diverse range of opportunities, I am now more certain than ever before that my aspiration lies in international relations and in advancing Singapore's interest through her foreign policy.
5. Ten years of being in Singapore's education system have made me realise that my family, schools and Singapore have provided me far more than I give back. I believe each of us has a higher purpose that we can serve in our capacities as youths, beyond the pursuit of grades. That purpose is to use the privileges and experiences we have to help those who have had less and in that way, give back to the society that offers us so many opportunities in the first place. For me, I have always believed that words can make a difference. Since 2011, I have spent my Monday evenings at the weekly Meet-the-People sessions at the Senja-Cashew area, under Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.
The experiences I’ve had in my four years there have opened my eyes to the lives of Singaporeans who are on the fringes of society (the unemployed, the elderly, the single parent; and even the average Singaporean family crippled by unexpected hardship) and in understanding their perspectives, I learn more about their needs. I am grateful to have a platform to use my command of language to help seek solutions for them through drafting appeals to relevant ministries and statutory boards. This, to me, is the best kind of volunteer work — one which broadens your worldview, deepens your understanding, and is aligned with your talents and passions. For all of you talented individuals seated here, I encourage you to pursue or continue in your service to the community with your talents and your heart.
6. Awards are neither end-goals nor checkpoints, but small milestones in life’s journey which prompt us to pause and do a mental stocktaking of our lives — the questions on my mind at this moment continue to offer me direction in the path ahead and I hope they will for you as well:
7. What gives me purpose and meaning in life, and am I going after those things with all my heart?
How can I give back to society with every opportunity gained?
And am I challenging myself every day?
8. I wish all of you very meaningful lives and bright futures ahead — stay true to yourself and always challenge the ‘you’ of tomorrow to surpass the ‘you’ of today. Congratulations once again and all the best!
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