SOTY 2017: from starting university to getting involved in charity - what are last year's award winners doing now?

By Tiffany Choi

If, like us, you’ve been wondering what a Student of the Year award winner goes on to do after they’ve won, wonder no more

By Tiffany Choi |

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Ignacio has found time to design and build a school in Kenya.

From winners of the linguist category, to those deemed most devoted to their school, here’s a quick update on a few of last year’s Student of the Year (SOTY) winners, and their advice for this year’s nominees. The Student of the Year Awards competition is organised by South China Morning Post and Young Post and sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Ignacio Mario Hui Buoy-hymn: 2016 Best Devotion to School

This is Ignacio’s final year and the Harbour School student is pretty busy. He said he has his hands full with schoolwork and filling out university applications. Despite this, Ignacio said he still finds time to work on Voice, which is a children’s rights advocacy group that he cofounded. He also helps out in some middle school science classes.

Ignacio is on the school council, where he advocates changes within the system, and helps pitch ideas to the teachers and administrators.

That’s not all: “[My classmates and I are] working on a project in which we will design and build a school in Kenya for hospitalised children,” he said. Talk about being busy!

Ignacio’s tips for this year’s candidates:

Bring something along with you to your interview, like your school transcripts, or your CV, or a portfolio – something to help kick-start the dialogue between you and the judges. “Last year, I took my portfolio.” It doesn’t matter if you win or not, Ignacio added. The fact you’ve been nominated means you’ve already proven yourself to be destined for greatness. “Don’t stress out! Just relax,” he said. “At the end of the day, what’s important is that you gave it your best. [Think of this as] a great learning opportunity.”

Catherine Wang: 2016 Linguist (English)

Catherine has finished her IB studies at Chinese International School, and is now a first year English student at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Catherine says this year’s SOTY candidates should be creative with the way they use language.
Photo: Edmond So/SCMP

Catherine’s tips for this year’s candidates:

Be creative with the way you apply and use language, Catherine said. Rather than stick with the tried and true methods of using English, like poetry and prose, you should try something less traditional, like blogging, or spoken word poetry.

“Take the road less travelled,” she added. “Always be on the lookout for ways to improve your craft. Let life inspire you and you shall go far!”

Shiu Cheuk-wing: 2016: Community Contributor

Cheuk-wing is a first year student at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at Chinese University (CUHK), and is now actively taking part in a CUHK programme called “Serve With A Purpose”. The programme has given her an opportunity to provide care to those who need it. Cheuk-wing said she is also learning all sorts of skills, from shooting videos to programming an app.

Nervous? Don’t be. Cheuk-wing says you should just be yourself.
Photo: Edmond So/SCMP

Cheuk-wing’s tips for this year’s candidates:

“[Just] be yourself, and don’t be nervous,” she said. Present yourself as you are normally, and you’ll be fine.

Kwok Hiu-ming: 2016 Best Improvement

Unfortunately, Young Post has not heard back from any of the winners from this category, but we loved Hiu-ming’s story so much we wanted to bring it to your attention again.

Hiu-ming took part in lots of extracurricular activities to make up for the hours she wasn’t at primary school.
Photo: Xiaomei Chen/SCMP

Hiu-ming, who was a student at the Hong Kong Red Cross Princess Alexandra School when she won last year, often had to miss out on her studies at primary school because she wasn’t in the best of health. At one point, she had to undergo a nine-hour operation in hospital.

To make up for all the time she spent away from school, Hiu-ming worked extra hard, and took part in lots of extracurricular activities like modern dance.

It clearly paid off, as she went on to win awards for excellence at the 2011 and 2014 School Dance Festivals, and of course the Best Improvement award at SOTY last year.

Edited by Ginny Wong