Six outstanding students will be vying for the prestigious South China Morning Post Student of the Year Awards on Sunday at the Lyric Theatre of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in Wan Chai. In its 31st year, the competition attracted more than 280 candidates for the major Student of the Year Award, as well as seven other categories - Best Improvement, Student Dancer of the Year, Student Linguist of the Year, Student Sportsperson of the Year, Student Computer Scientist of the Year, Student Musician of the Year and Student Visual Artist of the Year. The Student of the Year finalists will show off their debating skills in a panel discussion in front of an audience of 400 on Sunday. Then they will be interviewed individually by the judges - Secretary for Education and Manpower Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, Microsoft Hong Kong public sector director Calvin Choi and SCMP Group Editorial Director David Armstrong. The six finalists this year are: Candice Mok Chi-yan (St Paul's Convent School), Jacqueline Tse Cheuk-kwun (St Paul's Co-educational College), Theresa Lena Chow (Diocesan Girls' School), Jennifer Feng (King George V School), Nicola Chow Sui-yi (Baptist Lui Ming Choi Secondary School) and Perry Ge Pei (Shatin College). Apart from their excellent academic background, they have made outstanding achievements in extra-curricular and voluntary activities. The candidates are all determined to reach their goals. 'My ultimate goal is to live a fulfilling, aspiring and happy life,' said Candice, who wants to become a journalist. 'What has drawn me towards journalism is the central role it plays in the pursuit of truth and all that matters in the betterment of life for humanity and our environment.' Both Jacqueline and Nicola want to be doctors. 'I would like to join the Medicins Sans Frontieres after I become a physician,' said Jacqueline. 'After the South Asian tsunami, I realised life is vulnerable and how small we are compared with nature. I hope I can alleviate the pain and suffering of these people.' Theresa has a slightly different definition of personal goals. She said goals change from a short-term aim to an intermediate and then a long-term vision. Jennifer strongly believes she can carve out her own future. 'Indeed, the unexpected may play a role in my life, yet what I do is essentially the driving force that steers the direction of my goals. I am a person with my own abilities and talents,' she said. Perry, a debater who is the only boy among the finalists, hopes to teach or work for the United Nations. 'But knowing that unexpected events will happen in the future, I don't want to plan out a life. I'll take what comes to me.' The SCMP would like to thank the following sponsors - Microsoft Hong Kong, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Canon Hong Kong, Venture Language Training Limited, Tom Lee Music, Reebok Hong Kong, Ocean Park, Hong Kong Dance Company and Wall Street Institute.