SOTY 2017: from an orienteering star to a YouTuber - past winners continue to shine

By Tiffany Choi

Past Student of the Year winners share about their current lives and also their top tips for this year’s contenders

By Tiffany Choi |

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With just a couple of weeks left to get your applications in for the 2017 Student of the Year (SOTY) awards, Young Post spoke to some past winners to find out what they’re up to now, as well as what advice they have to offer this year’s hopefuls. And since winning their awards, it looks like Kessay Chan, Lam Cho-yu, Rainbow Tse Lok-yau and Wu Shi-kei have been busy carving out bright futures for themselves.

Chan Kwan-min: 2014 Performing Artist

Nineteen-year-old Chan Kwan-min impressed the SOTY performing arts judges back in 2014 with his a capella skills. Since then, he has continued to pursue music as a career, and is currently in his second year at Chinese University, where he studies music.

Winner of Performing Artist 2014 Chan Kwan-ming has started his own YouTube channel, Kessay Music.
Photo: Edward Wong/SCMP

“I continue to work hard to make myself a better artist and a better person, so that hopefully I can share my values with others through my music,” Chan said.

Chan has his own YouTube channel, Kessay Music, where he showcases his singing skills. In some of his videos, he layers his vocals to create harmonies with himself.

Chan Kwan-min's tips for this year’s candidates:

“Be genuine. People can tell when you don’t mean what you’re saying.

“Other candidates are shortlisted for a reason. Once the competition is over, they’re no longer your opponents but your peers. It is important to learn from other candidates and cherish them.”

Lam Cho-yu: 2015 Sportsperson

Lam Cho-yu says it's important to reflect on your experiences before facing the judges.
Photo: SCMP

Lam Cho-yu, 20, is now a second-year mechanical engineering student at the University of Hong Kong. But that doesn’t mean she has set her sporting ambitions aside.

While still at secondary school, Lam became a member of the Hong Kong Orienteering Team. Now that she’s at university, she plans to up her game even further.

“I hope to be in the top three at the Annual Orienteering Championships 2017, which most of the local orienteers will take part in, to be held at the end of December,” Lam said.

“I also hope to represent Hong Kong in the world orienteering championships next year.”

Lam Cho-yu's tips for this year’s candidates:

“Before meeting the judges, think carefully about why you play your sport, what you have learned from it, and any unforgettable experiences you have had.

“When you meet the judges, be confident, keep smiling, and stay relaxed.”

Rainbow Tse Lok-yau: 2014 Visual Artist

Rainbow Tse Lok-yau is following her passion for art with a degree in fine arts.
Photo: Edmond So/SCMP

Artist Rainbow Tse Lok-yau, 20, has gone from strength to strength since winning SOTY in 2014. Earlier this month, the second year fine arts student at the University of Hong Kong held a solo watercolour exhibition. But as much as she loves being an artist, she decided to major in art history.

“I wasn’t too sure about [the subject] as it is more theoretical and my passion was for the process of making and creating art pieces,” Tse said. “[But] I began to understand how art reflects a period in time, what was important to [people], their stories,” she said.

Rainbow Tse Lok-yau's tips for this year’s candidates:

“Be yourself; know that this is another step on your journey as an artist and a creative individual. Be encouraged by how far you’ve come but never think this is the end. Stay calm, be open-minded and use this opportunity to see and meet other artists or students on a similar path to you.”

Wu Shi-kei: 2014 Scientist & Mathematician

Medical student Wu Shi-kei, 20, is currently in her third year at the University of Hong Kong. Shortly after she started her degree, she got involved in the Hong Kong Children Eye Study, which collects data about children’s eye health in Hong Kong and research the causes of common eye diseases.

“In the future, I will be involved in more laboratory-based research about corneal diseases,” Wu said. She hopes one day to be a clinical doctor as well as a medical researcher.

Wu Shi-kei's tips for this year’s candidates:

“Be confident and genuine. Think about your past experiences and reflect on how each of them has shaped you into who you are now. Show your passion for science to the judges and how you will use it to contribute to society.”

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge