Live with Passion. Lead with Compassion
By: Png Han Yong
The sweltering heat of a Friday afternoon greeted us as BrightSparks stepped into the grounds of Hwa Chong Institution (College Section), where the familiar scene of a typical school day played itself out - students walking around the campus, lounging on their class benches or laughing and chatting with friends.
But what caught the eye were the many teenagers in casual attire milling about the campus – recent graduates of HCI who were back for one purpose, and one purpose only: to collect their GCE ‘A’ Level results, which were the fruit of 2 years of dutiful study at HCI.
As the appointed time of 2.30pm drew near, the ranks of graduates swelled considerably, all eager to hear the news about their ‘A’ Level results. A few bore nervous expressions, but the majority of the graduates was all relaxed and cheerful smiles as they chatted with former classmates and friends.
And when the principal announced that the current year’s cohort had achieved HCI’s best results in five years, the crowd broke into loud cheers - all the time and effort spent studying hard over the past two years had been worth it!
BrightSparks spoke with two such graduates, Felicia Choo and Nicholas Chuan, who shared their educational experiences in HCI. Both graduates were coy when asked about how they felt being offered provisional Public Service Commission (PSC) Scholarships prior to getting their results, largely attributing their success to HCI.
Felicia, who was from the Humanities Programme, plans to study political science or international relations at Stanford University in the US. While thanking her teachers for having groomed her well, she also thanked the HCI’s Education and Career Guidance Unit, saying: “some of the advisors (in there) have been very supportive in facilitating talks for (them) to get to know the PSC process better.”
Nicholas echoed Felicia’s praise for the school’s generous support, adding that he owed his qualification for the PSC scholarship to HCI. As part of HCI’s holistic student development programme, Nicholas also has had the opportunity to participate in enriching extra-curricular activities such as the Overseas Community Involvement Project in Cambodia and SIIA-SMU Youth Climate Change Seminar 2012. And for now, Nicholas aims to pursue a degree in Physics and Philosophy at Oxford University in the UK.