Secondary school students learned how to turn obstacles into opportunities at Queen's College in Tin Hau. At a talk organised by the Hong Kong Outstanding Students' Association (HKOSA), author Emerson Lai Chuen-fai introduced 80 students to the concept of the adversity quotient (AQ). Association president Kenneth Tong Chi-keung, a Form Six student at Queen's College, said the concept stressed the importance of a positive attitude when facing difficulties. He said academic pressure and events such as the present economic turmoil could make students depressed. 'The aim of the association is to encourage students to struggle for their goals in the harsh economic environment that we are facing today,' Chi-keung said. Participants who were meeting for the first time were asked to share their experiences in dealing with difficulties. Mr Lai said such activities would help strengthen students' AQ and enhance their inter-personal skills. Mr Lai teaches strategies to boost students' overall development. He said only through experience would youngsters develop their characters to cope with adversity. Learning-by-doing is at the heart of AQ training, he said, so students gain experience in dealing with difficulties. 'Social values have a significant effect on youths. If they are branded as deviants by society, this could lead to tragedy because some youngsters could decide to solve their problems by committing suicide.' Mr Lai said secondary schools should encourage errant students, because punishment would only put more pressure on them. After his speech, Mr Lai conducted a workshop which received a positive response from students. 'We rarely have interactive communication during talks, so the workshop was very interesting,' said Oliviaor Or Oi-yan, a Form Five student at Marymount Secondary School. Oi-yan said she would use Mr Lai's methods to deal with any difficulties which cropped up in the future. HKOSA is a non-profit organisation founded in 1987 by a group of Hong Kong Outstanding Students Award recipients. It is sponsored by the Lion and Globe Educational Trust and each year recruits 40 students recommended by their schools.