SOTY 21/22: Teachers, friends, volunteering got Grand Prize finalist through Hong Kong’s Covid-19 class suspension

  • Jason Chan Chun-sing, 18, of St Paul’s Co-educational College is the first runner-up for this year’s Student of the Year Grand Prize
  • The student co-founded E-Concept, an NGO with a mission to provide free tutoring and counselling services for younger pupils

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Student of the Year Grand Prize first runner-up Jason Chan is passionate about helping younger pupils. Photo: Xiaomei Chen.

This year’s Student of the Year Grand Prize first runner-up, Jason Chan Chun-sing of St Paul’s Co-educational College, says community service during the pandemic has made him happy.

With in-person classes and extracurricular activities hampered by Covid-19, Jason shared his experiences about surviving these tough times.

He thanked his teachers and school for starting virtual classes in February 2021 to help Form Five and Six students who were preparing for public exams.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Executive Director of Charities and Community Dr Gabriel Leung (from left) with Grand Prize first runner-up Jason Chan, second runner-up Annalise Mak, and South China Morning Post CEO Catherine So. Photo: SCMP

Jason said he also received a lot of support from his friends.

“Though we lost in-person communication, we still connected online to play video games and watch basketball together. We kept building our friendship while relaxing at the same time,” he explained.

With support from teachers and friends, Jason was determined to help students who suffered from the lockdown.

SOTY 2021/22: Meet Hong Kong’s outstanding students of the year

With that in mind, he co-founded E-Concept, an NGO consisting of secondary school students from around the world, with the mission to improve lower form and primary pupils’ well-being by providing voluntary tutoring and counselling services.

When asked about his devotion to the project, Jason answered: “Happiness ... I’m happy to contribute and community service brings me happiness and satisfaction”.

He added: “We cannot always gain from the society that nurtures us. We also have to give back to the community”.

Jason Chan (front centre) is one of the students from St Paul’s Co-educational college who received top marks on the International Baccalaureate (IB) exams this year. Photo: Edmond So

Jason, who has more than two years of experience running an NGO, said he wanted to learn more about the mindset of running any organisation, even businesses.

“An NGO’s core challenge, the same as a company, is scarce resources. How do you make use of limited resources to achieve your targets? That is what both NGOs and companies [must] find out,” he said.

The competition is organised by the South China Morning Post and sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club.

One of the unexpected rewards Jason gained through SOTY is the network of Hong Kong’s future leaders.

“There are always people who are better than [me] … That encourages and motivates me a lot to keep learning and contributing,” he said.

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