SOTY 2018: Best Devotion to School award winners know it’s the little things that matter most

By Donna Mah

This year’s winners helped improve their school in subtle but meaningful ways

By Donna Mah |
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Winners of the Best Devotion to School category pose on stage.

While many people will give back to their schools after graduating, some start contributing while they’re still studying. For these students, school is not only a place to learn, they also consider it to be their second home – a family or community that they belong to.

Five students were recognised for their dedication and the contributions they made to their schools, and were awarded the Student of the Year 2018/19 Best Devotion to School award. Young Post caught up with winners Justin Chui Man-ho, Serina Chong Tsz-san, Daisy Kwok Hiu-ming, George Siu Chak-hang, and Natalie Yu Man-ying to learn about what they did for their school and why they think it’s important to get involved.

At PLK Tang Yuk Tien College, Justin was an active member of the student union.

“I believe, by getting more people involved at school, the atmosphere improves and helps to build a closer knit school community,” Justin, 18, explained. While Justin plans on studying information engineering at Chinese University, he isn’t sure what career path he’ll take but will start by studying something he likes as he is figuring things out.

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Seventeen-year-old Serina discovered that to make a difference, you sometimes just need to just ask. She asked if she could redesign the outdated school blazer at King Ling College. Taking on the project taught her how to working with others and be inclusive.

“By working with many different people – teachers and students – I learned that it is necessary to take many views into consideration to come up with the best solution,” said Serina. As a future preschool teacher or a social worker, she added that she will take what she learned and use those skills in the future.

Daisy, 19, has a form of cerebral palsy which limits her day-to-day activities but it didn’t stop her from being involved in her school community. She was the head prefect and a house captain at Hong Kong Red Cross Princess Alexandra School. “Being active at school taught me a lot about myself and what I can achieve. Winning this award has given me a great sense of accomplishment and has inspired me to want to do more,” she said.

Daisy hopes to one day work in Human Resources and is currently enrolled in a

Human Resource Management programme at Polytechnic University. She is also a past winner of the Student of the Year Best Improvement award.

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Student Union vice-president and Music Society concertmaster George helped to improve the way St Joseph’s College selected Chinese debating team members, who were previously hand-picked by teachers.

“By opening up the recruitment process, we were able to find members with a passion for debating,” George, 17, said. He added the experience helped him develop his leadership and communication skills. He added he would like to continue helping others as a physiotherapist in the future.

Leung Shek Chee College’s Environmental Club committee member Natalie was behind the effort which broke a Guinness World Record for the most electrical energy generated by pedalling on bicycles for 24 hours. Through her green campaign work, 17-year-old Natalie learned a lot about science and shared her knowledge with others.

“When speaking at schools about environmental issues, seeing how students became curious about what they could do encouraged me to want to do more,” she explained. Natalie will be studying business administration at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and hopes to one day run her own green business.

The Student of The Year Awards competition is organised by the SCMP and Young Post and sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club.

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