Tuesday 9 July 2013

Six outstanding individuals honoured at Singapore Youth Award 2013

By Lim Yi Han, The Straits Times, 7 Jul 2013

The Singapore Youth Award was given to six individuals for their contribution to the society on Sunday at the Istana.

The six recipients were selected from 107 nominees, the most number of nominations received in the past five years.

The winners include paralympian Laurentia Tan, 33; non-profit group Halogen Foundation co-founder Martin Tan, 35; scientist Juliana Maria Chan, 29; musician Muhammad Riduan, 27; national netball player Jean Ng, 34 and arts and drama teacher Koh Hui Ling, 33.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean was the guest of honour at the event. The award, which is in its 38th year, is administered by the National Youth Council.

Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said that he hopes that the recipients would be "role models" and urged young people to pursue their dreams in diverse fields, not just in academic.

Youth leader finds it pays to pay it forward
By Lim Yi Han, The Straits Times, 8 Jul 2013

WHEN Mr Martin Tan was 17, his father died of a heart attack.

It dealt a big blow to the teenager, who was very close to his dad. Fortunately for him, leaders from several churches stepped in and made sure he never felt helpless or lonely.

He decided to pay it forward and in 2003, he set up Halogen Foundation Singapore, a non-profit organisation which yearly trains more than 10,000 young people aged 10 to 25 to be leaders.

Yesterday, the 35-year-old received the Singapore Youth Award from Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, in recognition of his work in the youth sector.

"People have told me that I'm wasting my time, and I can get a better-paying job. But I don't think life should be lived based on the world's definition of success," said Mr Tan, who studied film at Ngee Ann Polytechnic and has a degree in mass communications.

"Small changes will bring about big differences. You don't have to be somebody to do something," he told The Straits Times.

Administered by the National Youth Council (NYC), the award, in its 38th year, is given to those aged 35 and below who have made outstanding contributions to society and have excelled in their respective fields. This year, the council received 107 nominations, the most in five years.

Other recipients of this year's award were paralympian Laurentia Tan, 33; scientist Juliana Maria Chan, 29; musician Muhammad Riduan Zalani, 27; national netball player Jean Ng, 34; and Drama Box associate artistic director Koh Hui Ling, 33.

Referring to the varied backgrounds of the recipients, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong told reporters at the ceremony: "It's a very positive sign of how our youth sector is developing."

"In Singapore, we are still a land of opportunity for young people to pursue their dreams and these dreams can be in diverse fields. They are not limited to academic areas," added Mr Wong, who is also NYC chairman.

Dr Chan, one of the award recipients, encouraged youth to dream big.

"Have big dreams, even if they are unconventional," said the scientist, who also works for the Agency for Science, Technology and Research.

"When we do research in science, most of the time we fail, but don't give up and persevere through the failures."

Likewise, Ms Tan, Singapore's first Paralympic medallist, urged young people not to "give up in the face of adversity".

The equestrian, who also won The Straits Times Athlete of the Year award in February, said she is "very honoured and delighted" to receive the award, and could not have done it without a "great support network".

She added: "There will be challenges in life but there are solutions around challenges by being creative... The opportunity is always there."

No comments:

Post a Comment