The Lee Kuan Yew Award
The Lee Kuan Yew Award for Mathematics and Science for polytechnics is awarded to the top technology or computer science graduates in each of the polytechnics. This Award is funded by an honorarium that the late founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew received from various speaking engagements and funds raised from a special edition of his memoirs. The Award was first presented at the 1993 Temasek Polytechnic graduation ceremony.
While he was disappointed with his unexpected PSLE results, Shaun refused to let them discourage him. He set his mind to start afresh and made sure he always did his best in Loyang View Secondary School. His efforts were rewarded when he graduated as his school’s top O-level student, with a net score of 3 points!
His desire to equip himself with technical skills led Shaun to take the polytechnic route. As he was interested in both Chemistry and Engineering, TP’s Diploma in Chemical Engineering appealed to him. An informative visit to TP’s Open House helped to confirm his choice!
Three years later, Shaun graduates with a cGPA of 3.98. Looking back, he cites three defining experiences in TP—his participation in WorldSkills Singapore (WSS), the NUS Chem-E Challenge 2021 and his CCAs. Shaun has accomplished a feat that very few other students have. He participated in WSS for two consecutive years, and became a two-time Silver medallist in the Water Technology category. “I am competitive, and wanted to win Gold, so when I was asked to participate again, naturally, I agreed,” said Shaun.
His lecturers say, “Shaun is a mentor, friend and brother to his classmates. He gives his time freely and demonstrates patience to deal with both academic and non-academic problems.” This clearly reflects the service culture of his family—his father is a social worker, his mother is involved with early childhood education and his elder siblings are both nurses. At TP, Shaun actively volunteered in and supported events such as the ASC Mental Health Peer Support Talk, ASC Mental Health Peer Support Programme, the Social Issues Immersion Activity on Children and Youth, and environment-related events.
Shaun balanced his studies with CCAs. He progressed from Assistant Quartermaster to Vice-President of the Applied Science Studies Club. He was also involved in large-scale events like Freshmen Orientation 2021 and TP-NECDC Virtual Challenge 2021. Despite the competing demands of internship, final-year project and external academic and technical competitions, Shaun always demonstrated a high level of discipline, resourcefulness, level-headedness and down-to-earth leadership skills.
Shaun’s biggest source of inspiration is his mother. He says, “She has a strong sense of service to people. Whenever I have doubts, I go to my mum for comfort and advice. She is very understanding and always ensures that the solution is my choice.”
Realistic, motivated and adventurous – that’s how Shaun sees himself. He will pursue a degree in Chemical & Bio-Molecular Engineering at Nanyang Technological University after completing his National Service. His research-based internship with the Home Team Science & Technology Agency has inspired Shaun to want to become a chemical engineering technical expert researcher in the future.
Congratulations Shaun, you can achieve whatever you put your mind to!
True to his life mantra, Muhammad Zaki embraced every opportunity that came his way in TP, so he would not have any regrets. An O-level 7-pointer from Ngee Ann Secondary School, he chose the polytechnic route for its promise of hands-on experiences.
His choice to pursue Computer Engineering came as no surprise as Engineering and IT are two of his biggest passions. Intelligent, conscientious, and independent, Zaki’s TP Scholarship (Engineering) award in his first year was just a sign of good things to come.
Zaki graduates from TP with a perfect cGPA of 4.0! Apart from excelling in his studies, Zaki enjoyed making many new friends from his active involvement in competitions and events. The Lee Hsien Loong Interactive Digital Media Smart Nation Award 2021 and the National Assistive & Rehabilitation Technologies Student Innovation Challenge 2021 are two such memorable competitions. His lecturers describe him as resourceful, innovative and a real-world problem solver. These skills were at the forefront as he led his group on their final-year project titled “Smart Waste Disposal Guard”. This collaboration with the Tampines Town Council applies video analytics and Artificial Intelligence to monitor the cleanliness of the rubbish chute areas at HDB blocks.
Active in CCAs, Zaki took on various leadership roles. He was the class representative for his Care Group throughout his three years, Vice-President for the Toastmasters Club in 2020 and its President in 2021, Quartermaster for the ENG Student Ambassadors Club in 2020 and President of the Computer Engineering Network Club in 2020. He excelled in every appointment and earned the respect of his fellow students and lecturers along the way. For his contributions and dedication to the ENG Student Ambassadors group, he received the CCA Dedication Award in 2021. His desire to give back to the community saw him join the TP BP Mentors, where he held sessions to help students at Tampines North Primary School and the SBL Vision Family Service Centre. A young man with excellent time management skills indeed!
Zaki describes himself as a determined, friendly and passionate person. If you’re wondering what he does to relax, Zaki is an ardent fan of Japanese anime, the DOTA video game series and enjoys kicking up a sweat with Muay Thai. According to him, the inspiration to succeed comes from his parents. His SMRT manager father and primary school teacher mother always encourage him to do his best and never to worry too much.
Having applied to both Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and National University of Singapore (NUS) to pursue a degree in Computer Science—Zaki has already secured a place in NTU! Ultimately, he hopes to pursue his passion and embark on a technology-related career.
May all your dreams come true, Zaki!
Lim Ryan Ryutaro has his sights firmly set on the stars. Actually, one star in particular—our Sun. This future engineering wizard’s ultimate life dream is to build a Dyson Sphere, a hypothetical megastructure that can completely encompass a star and harness a large percentage of its solar power output.
For now though, Ryan is devoting all his time and energy to his passion towards engineering, and use his skill to create products that can help people to recover from their injuries quickly. So certain was he about pursuing a hands-on learning experience, Ryan enrolled into TP's Diploma in Electronics via the Early Admissions Exercise. “I really wanted a place in TP,” said Ryan, who eventually attained 3 points for his O-level exams. Even before coming to TP, Ryan had heard about the WorldSkills competitions, and hoped to participate in it one day.
This focused and determined young man was indeed selected for WorldSkills Singapore (WSS) training and represented TP in the WSS 2021 competition. By applying the mental and technical aspects of his WSS training and combining them with his exceptional problem-solving skills, he clinched the competition’s Silver medal (Electronics Trade)!
A diligent and responsible student, Ryan managed his time well between his CCA, WSS training, academic work, and helping out in the family business. His excellent academic achievements and CCA records clearly demonstrated his ability to plan and prioritise tasks, and to consistently deliver timely work that is of a high standard.
Even when he is not studying, Ryan devotes his spare time and energy to sharing his knowledge and passion for engineering. As the Head of Training for the Engineering Makers Club (EMC), a CCA group that promotes makers’ culture in TP, he has successfully led and organised many workshops and outreach activities for both TP students and secondary school students. Always diligent and responsible, Ryan took great pride in meticulously planning for the workshops that he organised. It was therefore not surprising when his peers put their trust in him to lead as the President of EMC.
Ryan graduates top of his cohort, and intends to pursue a degree in Singapore University of Technology and Design on the SUTD Global Excellence Scholarship or Tokyo University after completing his National Service. The person who inspires him most is his father, who persevered amidst many hardships and failures to be the successful businessman he is today.
Ryan, may imagination and creativity continue to open doors for you!
Krystal’s father, a Regional IT Senior Manager at Rolls Royce, spearheaded her early start with technology. He would send her tech articles and enrol her in tech bootcamps, forums and symposiums. Her interest in FinTech was piqued in Secondary 1 when Apple Pay saved her day! “Since then, I no longer wanted to be a mere benefiter of tech, but rather to be at the frontiers of setting and leading it,” she said.
Sure of her desire to pursue her passion in technology, Krystal never failed to visit TP’s Open House every year, from Secondary 1 to 4—even though she had already decided on TP’s Diploma in Financial Business Informatics on her second visit!
A highly motivated go-getter, Krystal attended many tech courses beyond what she was learning in TP, and has acquired proficiency in areas like blockchain, machine learning and data analytics. In addition, Krystal took on internships in financial institutions, non-profit organisations, statutory boards and ministries.
From 2019 to 2021, she has volunteered her time in more than 15 community outreach projects across the island. To name two, Krystal has worked with Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council, initiating various events, doing cheer pack distributions and contributing ideas towards bridging the inter-generational gap. She is also on the working committee of the East Coast GRC’s Digital Blueprint Plan. It is no wonder that Senior Minister of State Sim Ann described Krystal as “a girl who seems to have more than 24 hours in a day, is full of energy, gumption, and a dynamo.”
Championing societal concerns—especially those pertaining to empowering girls, women and youth, and ensuring that pioneers are not left behind in the digital divide—are causes close to her heart. Our IMDA Singapore Digital Scholarship recipient also played a crucial role in forming and leading a new student interest group involving the five polytechnics called ‘Girls in Tech’.
Mature beyond her age, Krystal describes herself as having unwavering courage, grit and tenacity. She is a two-time Director’s List recipient and graduates from TP with a perfect cGPA of 4.0! Krystal hopes to make a difference by exploring potential partnerships and collaborations and making Singapore a hub to nurture the youths of tomorrow.
Ultimately, her dream career in the technology sector would be one where she can leverage technology to solve societal concerns, optimise operations, and propel Singapore as a recognised tech leader on the world stage.
Krystal, may your passion continue to drive change for the better!
Who says there are no second chances in life? Viyshnatulasiy D/O G Manivannen’s life is perfect example of her personal mantra, “difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.” The 23-year did her A-levels in a JC after completing her O-levels in Dunman Secondary School. When she could not get into NUS, Viyshna took a gap year before starting the Biotechnology course in TP. Looking back at her early days in TP, she says, “I was older than my classmates and felt like a failure, but I just wanted to do my best.”
True to her intent, Viyshna graduates top of her class! Her lecturers describe her as “a very responsible and trustworthy student, a leader who can undertake new responsibilities confidently and can be depended upon to finish assigned tasks to the best of her ability.” Viyshna’s TP experience included a six-month internship at A*STAR’s Immunology department which also confirmed her passion for science research.
Outside the classroom, Viyshna served as honorary secretary of the Biology Interest Group and president of TP Students' Union, where she excelled with her leadership skills, dedication, resilience and positive attitude. She treasures her friendships and never hesitates to go the extra mile to help others. It is no wonder that events like the Christmas party for children with chronic illness at KK Hospital organised by TPSU will always have a special place in her heart. “Putting a smile on their faces remains one of the best feelings ever!” says Viyshna.
Focused, determined and sensitive, this die-hard fan of South Korean boy-band BTS also enjoys dancing, watching horror movies and playing the occasional video game. Viyshna has gained admission into the NUS College of Humanities and Sciences, with the NUS Scholarship.
Her self-belief and amazing understanding of what she is capable of will surely set her on a path to an incredible future. Well done, Viyshna!
Even though he was eligible for the Express stream, Yong Jie opted for the Normal (Academic) stream at Xinmin Secondary School as he was unsure if he could keep up. After his N-levels, he decided on the Polytechnic Foundation Programme at TP, and chose to study Aerospace Engineering as it allowed him to marry his interest in the technical side of aviation, with his passion for science, engineering and mathematics.
Throughout his TP journey, Yong Jie took it upon himself to pick up skills and knowledge in the field of mobile robotics and subsequently represented TP in the Mobile Robotics trade at the WorldSkills Singapore Competition 2020. When his teammate fell ill on the final day of competition, Yong Jie was unfazed and rose to the challenge. He eventually won the Gold medal, impressing the judges with his determination to complete the programming portion of the competition all by himself.
For his internship, Yong Jie was attached to A*STAR's Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC). With his passion for computer science and electrical engineering, he created a monitoring software for a computer numerically controlled (CNC) equipment, which displays the energy used to complete a machining process, and proposed ways to reduce the energy usage.
Yong Jie graduates top of his cohort, despite having to juggle his studies, competitions and CCA. A self-taught photographer, he was vice-president of the Digital Media & Production Crew and helped train freshmen to become better photographers. In fact, his contributions won him CCA Merit Awards in both Leadership and Arts, as well as the Service Excellence (Group) Award.
Yong Jie will pursue a degree in Information Engineering & Media offered by Nanyang Technological University. His ultimate goal is to create an electrically-powered, fully self-flying jet liner.
Yong Jie, truly the sky is your limit!
After completing his N-levels in Dunman Secondary School, Teo Zhi Jie joined TP through the Polytechnic Foundation Programme in 2017 and then went on to pursue the Mechatronics course. A recipient of the Micron Foundation Scholarship and two Director's List awards, he graduates with the course Gold medal.
Sheer determination spurred Zhi Jie to achieve impressive grades as well as accomplishments outside the classroom. “At secondary school, whenever alumni returned to speak to us, I realised they were always from the Express stream. I wanted to be the first Normal (Academic) student to return and inspire them,” he says.
Kayaking proved pivotal to Zhi Jie’s growth. He was captain of TP’s kayak team and was instrumental to their success in the 2018 and 2019 POL-ITE Games. The sport shaped him physically, mentally and emotionally, with a training regimen that saw him start his days at 5.30am. Inspired by Mark Twain’s words – “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day” – his discipline and perseverance saw him win the CCA Merit Award (Sports) in 2019.
Applying his learning for the greater good, Zhi Jie’s team won the Silver award in the TOM Singapore MakeAthon for inventing a remote application that allows wheelchair users to open and close doors with the push of a button. Kayaking also inspired him to propose an AI robotic vehicle which collects trash from water bodies for his major project. He also researched sports physiology and came up with a system to help his teammates improve their 2.4km run times and reduce fatigue levels during training.
Zhi Jie is thankful for the many opportunities he received at TP to develop academically and which honed his character. He will pursue a mechanical engineering degree with a minor in business at Nanyang Technological University and eventually, hopes to have his own engineering start-up.
The world is your oyster, Zhi Jie!
So sure was Kenneth about the choice of his course at TP that he secured himself a place in the Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics course via the Early Admissions Exercise. The Ngee Ann Secondary School alumnus is a self-confessed deep-thinker, visual learner and totally passionate about all things cybersecurity and environment.
Kenneth’s TP journey was rich and packed with experiences that saw him pursue his passion for the field. As an A*STAR Science Award recipient, he undertook his internship at the Institute for Infocomm Research. His research for his major project on developing algorithms to extend the capabilities of homomorphic encryption was in fact documented in a conference paper. In 2020, together with his supervisor and another student, Kenneth also published and presented a paper at the Asia Conference on Computers and Communications – a testimony to his calibre in applying technologies to enhance cybersecurity. That same year, he competed in the IT Network Systems and Administration trade at the WorldSkills Singapore Competition and won a Bronze medal.
Outside the classroom, Kenneth served as the vice-secretary of the Association for Infocomm Security Professionals Student Interest Group, represented the Cybersecurity Student Interest Group at conferences such as the FS-ISAC 2019 Asia Pacific Summit and GovWare 2019, and participated in the DSTA Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp. Kenneth also represented TP at the Temasek Foundation Specialist’s Community Action and Leadership Exchange (TF SCALE) 2019, where he collaborated with students from Hanoi University of Science and Technology to develop IT solutions that benefit local communities.
Relaxation for Kenneth is watching comedy sitcoms, in between the latest videos on cybersecurity of course!
Kenneth will pursue a degree in Computer Science at the National University of Singapore and aspires to become a researcher whose work will have lasting impact.
“Through adversity to the stars,” is his mantra. Kudos to you Kenneth!
School of Applied Science
“If you can succeed together, why succeed alone?”, is the belief that Koh Jing lives by. Such is the selflessness of this amazing young man who grabbed every opportunity which came his way during his three years in TP. He recalled how Madam Erlis, his Chemistry teacher in Tampines Secondary School, helped him develop a passion for the subject by always encouraging him to push boundaries. Her sound advice has been a beacon to Jing, opening many doors and enriching him with a plethora of experiences.
The younger of two sons of his school bus driver father and pre-school teacher mother, Jing started exploring poly courses very early and found that TP’s Chemical Engineering course suited him well. The O-level 6-pointer secured a place in the course via the Early Admissions Exercise. Within his first two years in TP, Jing participated in two research programmes, represented TP in the new Water Technology category of WorldSkills Singapore, and participated in the Pre-University Seminar.
A two-time recipient of the A*STAR Science Award, he interned for six months at the NanoBio Lab (NBL) where he conducted research on nanomaterials and energy sources. Passionate about environmental issues, Jing wants to use his skills and knowledge to reduce human dependence on non-renewable energy sources. His diligence saw him exceed the expectations of his supervisor and earned him high praises from his Major Project examiners.
Outside of academics, Jing served as president of the Chemical Engineering Interest Group, NICHE, in 2018. His desire to help people in need, together with his excellent leadership and organisational capabilities were obvious when he organised many peer teaching activities and events, and led the student body in numerous volunteering projects, industry visits and ChemEx Competitions. In particular, he led his cohort team to win the Annual Chemical Experience Quiz 2018. He was also an excellent ambassador for his diploma course, speaking at poly-wide events on its behalf. Jing also served as the vice-president of the TP Sports Club where he was always striving to increase vibrancy across campus for all students and staff through the club’s activities. One example is the very successful Sports Health Carnival cum TP-ActiveSG Cross Country 2019, which attracted more than 900 students, staff and members of public. It is no wonder that this young man says he will miss everything about TP!
Jing describes himself as being goal-orientated, hardworking and positive. He enjoys meeting people from different backgrounds as there is much to learn from each other. Apart from the many people in his life he has learnt from, Jing looks up to his mother most as she “works tirelessly”.
With an outstanding cGPA of 4.0, Jing has been accepted into NTU’s Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree programme. This curious young man, however, hopes to explore other engineering fields and has his eye on civil engineering so that he can play a part in urban planning and in ensuring that Singapore has more green sustainable buildings!
Go make your dreams a reality, Jing!
Leong Chi Ren Wilsvin
School of Engineering
When Leong Chi Ren Wilsvin was in Northview Secondary School, he rose through the ranks to be Master Sergeant in the National Cadet Corps. After his O-levels, he attended a Cadet Officers’ course which empowered him to train new cadets in secondary schools. Drawn by the discipline of the uniform group, when Wilsvin started TP’s Clean Energy course, he applied for and was awarded a sponsorship for his studies under the Joint Poly-SAF Diploma Scheme (Army) by the Ministry of Defence.
The practical young man who decided on his course because of its career prospects, was determined to have a well-rounded polytechnic education. The youngest of four children of a businessman and a confinement nanny, Wilsvin put his heart and soul into his studies, his CCA and giving back to the community. He highlights his Major Project as his highest point when, together with his partners, he designed and developed a solar powered autonomous robotic vehicle that could collect rubbish along the beach. The project was selected for display at the Youth Energy Showcase in conjunction with Singapore International Energy Week 2019 at Marina Bay Sands. He also led his team in a presentation on Clean Energy Adoption in Singapore at the event. He also interned with Sembcorp Solar for five months as an engineer, where he did CAD-caliber layouts, remote shade analyses, and bankable energy yield calculations.
A natural leader, Wilsvin became Captain of the TP Kayak Racing Team in his second year. He dedicated his time to honing his craft, and was a multiple medallist at the POL-ITE Games, winning a Gold in the Men’s K4 1000m event in 2018. For his outstanding CCA contributions, he received the Sports Colours award in 2019 and the CCA Merit Award (Sports) for Kayak Racing. When asked how he managed his time with the intensive training he had, Wilsvin said: “Every day, I wake up around 5.30am to be in TP by 7am to practice before classes at 9am. I would look through all my notes, study and do my homework before bed, or when I had pockets of free time.” Such was the commitment of this remarkable young man who graduates with a cGPA of 3.96.
Wilsvin also volunteered his time and effort in local community projects, like the City of Sharing event with Paya Lebar Kovan Community Club Youth Executive Committee. He also organised an Overseas Community Project trip to the Philippines, where the students set up a hydroponic farm for the local community. Wilsvin also participated in Polytechnic Forum 2019, and was selected for the Harvard Business School Club of Singapore Mentoring Programme.
Disciplined, organised and self-motivated, Wilsvin looks up to his father who taught him never to worry about the “what ifs” and never to quit before starting something. Wilsvin will serve with MINDEF for the next five years before pursuing a degree towards achieving his goal of becoming a data scientist.
May you achieve all your life goals, Wilsvin!
Lim Yee Kiat
School of Engineering
Lim Yee Kiat recalls helping his father do “engineering stuff” around the house as he was growing up, which sparked his love for the intricate details of engineering. The Anglican High School alumnus had actually finished one year of junior college before opting to take Microelectronics course at TP as he wanted more time to explore what he would be learning. TP’s vibrancy captivated him when he attended Open House and, from the moment he started poly life, there was no stopping the Anglican High School alumnus, who embraced the many experiences poly life accorded him.
The eldest of three children of an engineer turned businessman and an accountant, Yee Kiat actively participated in classroom discussions and ensured that everything he delivered, from projects to academic assignments were of the highest quality. During his 20-week internship with Bang & Olufsen, he was mainly involved in product and application testing. A recipient of the A*STAR Science Award, he was also attached to the Institute of the Microelectronics (IME) where he carried out his Major Project, which required him to use a machine learning algorithm in integrated circuits design to improve productivity. The advanced technical difficulty of the project put Yee Kiat on a steep learning curve which he overcame with focus and determination.
In 2019, Yee Kiat led a team to create an app to measure electron microscope images in the Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors' Award Competition. He also won accolades for drafting designs of robots and his creation of prototypes during the SUTD Compact 3.007 Best Design Project. He represented TP at the Polytechnic Forum where he engaged government and industry leaders in national issues. Yee Kiat was also handpicked to attend the Singapore Perspectives Forum 2020.
A natural leader, he shared that among his most memorable achievements in TP were his tenure as vice-president of the Engineering Makers Club and president of the Diploma Club (ATOMIC Interest Group). For the Makers Club, Yee Kiat canvassed members to run skill-based community service programmes. For the Diploma Club, he spearheaded community outreach events to secondary schools and organised industry visits for his course mates. Yee Kiat also served as a School of Engineering Student Ambassador, welcoming prospective students and their families to campus, as well as assisting lecturers at outreach events.
Yee Kiat participated in a Youth Expedition Project (YEP) trip to Vietnam, where he taught children from less privileged homes and built essential infrastructure like roads in the rural areas of Vietnam. During the YEP, he demonstrated teamwork, perseverance, initiative and empathy. A young man with many talents, he received the Sports Colours Award for Taekwondo, having represented TP and winning silver in the POL-ITE Games.
Yee Kiat describes himself as a people-person who is curious and driven. His perfect cGPA of 4.0 has earned him a place in the SUTD Global Excellence Scholarship programme. To freshmen joining TP, Yee Kiat advised them to, “Make full use of the three years ahead of you, as there are many new skills and CCAs you can pick up to learn and enrich your lives.”
Teo Xuan Ming
School of Informatics & IT
Teo Xuan Ming’s interest in IT was sparked when he went through the Polytechnic Foundation Programme at TP. The eldest son of a mechanical engineer and a housewife, he was in the Normal (Academic) stream at Xinmin Secondary School. Highly motivated, Xuan Ming’s role model is his father, who came to Singapore at the age of 18, without formal education, but made a successful life for himself. Growing up watching his dad, Xuan Ming developed a passion for learning and set goals for himself. With his inclination for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, he decided to pursue the Diploma in Financial Business Informatics.
His first year was spent building fundamental technical skills and Xuan Ming adopted a preparatory attitude towards his studies, looking through the syllabus even before the semester began to understand his lessons better. This habit eventually moulded him into someone who places a premium on delivering quality work in and out of the classroom. The outcomes were outstanding.
In his second year, he was in a team that won the Best Pitch Award at the PolyFintech Hackathon, for their idea to help people living in less developed countries get support for their banking needs. In the following year, he led a team to win first prize in the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Challenge where they pitched and created a prototype of an idea for utilising Artificial Intelligence for disaster relief. His Major Project involved the development of an open-source web application with a powerful in-built algorithm to help banks and financial institutions verify the identity of prospective clients who live in remote areas.
A lead instructor for an initiative called “Code in the Community”, he taught children from underprivileged backgrounds how to integrate Python codes with Internet Of Things devices. As a member of TP’s Global Connect Studies Club, he planned and participated in camps and dialogue sessions to increase awareness of international issues. Through TP’s Student Leadership Programme, he attended programmes like the Pre-University Seminar. Fluent in Japanese, Xuan Ming played a key role in helping host Japanese students from Kumamoto University and Kanazawa Commercial High School. In fact, his best memory is of a two-week cultural exchange trip to Japan, where he experienced a homestay.
Xuan Ming graduates with a cGPA of 3.97. A young man of integrity, passion and diligence, he wants to eventually work in the tech industry as an AI model builder. For now, he has gained admission into NTU’s Computer Science with Business course and SMU’s Information Systems course.
The sky is your limit, Xuan Ming!
Charlotte Gayondato Yap
School of Applied Science
“Resilient, hardworking and empathetic, that’s how I would describe myself,” says Charlotte Gayondato, who is strikingly calm and quiet. Forced to grow up fast after the sudden death of her father when she was only 16, Charlotte and her elder sister were pillars of strength for their mother, who was totally devastated.
Although her excellent O-level results qualified her for junior college, Charlotte chose to study Pharmaceutical Science in TP, as her sister had done a few years before. “I guess you could say I had a natural gravitation towards pharmacy,” said Charlotte, whose aunt owns a small pharmaceutical company, where her dad had worked.
The initial part of her first year in TP was “not a great one” as, besides coping with the loss of her father, her sister had left for university in Australia. Charlotte focused on her studies to take her mind off her grief. The triple science stream student at CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) coped well with her foundation year subjects. She also joined the Community Service Club (CSC) as a volunteer leader where she planned many events such as Paws for a Cause and the TP International Volunteers’ Day Roadshow 2016.
Charlotte’s lecturers describe her as a student who was very clear about what she wanted to achieve from her education in TP. Throughout her three years, she was committed to excelling academically and developing herself holistically. In and out of the classroom, Charlotte carried out her responsibilities and tasks assigned to her with a maturity that made her a dependable student leader and team player. She was highly driven and competent, always ready to help her peers with their studies.
Charlotte did two internships. The first, which spanned five months, was with a medical clinic. She spent another five months interning in TP, where she was a teaching assistant for the lab sessions of first year Chemical Engineering students. Her major project involved quantifying fish collagen content in a health supplement product. For both her internships and her major project, needless to say, Charlotte excelled.
Charlotte also took on a Differential Project and the Diploma Plus in Business Fundamentals programme, where she studied Economics, Accounting and Marketing & Management. She was also nominated for the TP Skills Mastery (Individual) Award for her achievement at the inaugural WorldSkills Singapore Competition for Chemical Laboratory Technology. Charlotte was awarded the Medallion for Excellence in the competition.
Always ready to help others, Charlotte volunteers at the Institute of Mental Health where she spends time engaging with patients. In TP, she was Honorary Treasurer and then President of the Community Service Club. For her involvement and contributions, she was awarded the TP CCA Merit Award (Leadership) in 2017 and 2018.
Charlotte enjoys spending time with her family on weekends. She graduates top of her cohort with a perfect cGPA of 4.0. She has been offered a place in NTU to read Biological Sciences, and in SMU to read Business Management. Eventually, she hopes to grow a career as a pharmacist.
We wish nothing but the best for you, Charlotte.
School of Engineering
From a PSLE score of 132 to an outstanding cGPA of 3.98, a course Gold medal and the distinguished Lee Kuan Yew Award – this has been the rollercoaster life of Ajay Shanker. By the age of eight, he had lost both his parents and, with his older sister, they moved from one foster home to another until they settled down at the Salvation Army’s Gracehaven home.
Ajay was in the Normal Technical stream at Montfort Secondary School where the disciplinary teacher, Mr Vincent Low, motivated him to find his sense of purpose and encouraged him to study hard. He worked very hard and it helped tremendously that he was very keen on Maths and Science, hoping to be an engineer one day. “I have very itchy hands and am always curious about how things work,” said the friendly young man who literally took apart an old microwave, just to see how it was put together.
Ajay indeed did well enough to move to the Normal (Academic) stream, aced his N and O-level exams, and applied to do the Common Engineering Programme at TP. Here, Ajay excelled in and out of the classroom, churning out superb results that put him on the Ngee Ann Kongsi Scholarship for all three years. His choice to study electronics proved to be right as, besides other competitions, he represented TP in the Electronics category of the WorldSkills Singapore 2018 competition and clinched the Bronze medal.
Consistently one of the top students in his course, Ajay remained humble, helping classmates who needed help with their studies. Through volunteer work, he found happiness and a way of giving back to society. He actively helped out at MINDS, Orange Valley Nursing Home and with the Red Cross’ EastEats Food distribution project. In 2018, he was one of the organisers of a Youth Expedition Project to a village in the Philippines where, together with his team, they installed solar panels. He enjoyed the experience so much that he volunteered to lead a second project to the Philippines the next year.
Ajay made full use of the opportunities he received in TP’s Student Leadership Programme. He attended special talks and events, and was involved in activities such as the People's Association-TP Community Leadership Programme where he was attached to a Youth Executive Committee for nine months to deliver programmes to the community. He also took part in an adventure expedition to Gunung Lambak, Malaysia, and the Polytechnic Forum. Ajay also went for an overseas study trip to Hong Kong and was a committee member of the IES Student Chapter interest group.
As if these were not enough, in order to learn how to swim, Ajay joined TP’s Triathlon team and eventually did his first open sea swim – such is the fortitude of this young man! He also taught himself to play the piano and bass guitar, and enjoys running and playing football.
Ajay has been offered a place at SUTD to read Engineering Product Development, with scholarship, as well as direct entry into the second year of NTU’s Electrical and Electronic Engineering programme with a Minor in Business.
Mature beyond his age, he believes that what is important is not one’s intelligence but how much impact one can make in society. No matter where life takes him, we can be sure that Ajay will do excellently. Godspeed, Ajay Shanker!
Hing Zi Yang Benedict
School of Informatics & IT
Mention the word “programming” to Benedict Hing and his eyes light up like an overenthusiastic schoolboy. Benedict’s love affair with programming started when he was little, watching his avid programmer father do coding. He was amazed at how, by just keying in a few lines of code, his dad could make the computer do exactly what he wanted it to. The desire to learn programming grew when Benedict joined the Media Robotics Club in primary school where he learned to develop platform games.
At Geylang Methodist School (Secondary), Benedict focused his efforts on doing well for his O-levels in order to pursue the Game Design & Development course in TP. While waiting for his O-level results, he single-handedly built two computers! He says, “I’m always thinking of the next project, looking for something to do, to learn, and to grow. I’m excited about how little I know and how much more I can learn.”
Benedict entered TP with a net O-level aggregate score of 5 points. His lecturers describe him as an outstanding student and a joy to teach, as he is quick to grasp ideas and implement them. He is also generous in sharing his knowledge with his friends, while being humble in listening to the views of others. It is no surprise then, that he maintained a perfect cGPA of 4.0 over the three years. He received the TP Microsoft Scholarship in his first year and the A*STAR Science Award (Polytechnic) in the next two years. Benedict also participated in competitions such as Imagine Cup and Splash Awards.
At A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) where he interned, Benedict developed a modular and scalable prototype to evaluate and deploy deep learning models for medical imaging applications. He impressed his supervisor with his proficiency in programming and his ability to be self-directed in learning a variety of complex skills quickly.
At TP, some of Benedict’s achievements include developing the game Bear Fist with two course-mates; developing a mobile Total Defence game called ‘Lion City’ for MINDEF, and developing a location-based, augmented reality mobile game for National Day 2018, called ‘NDP Jalan!’. The latter received over 7,500 unique downloads and wide coverage in the local media.
Beyond his studies and projects, Benedict was a facilitator in an Overseas Community Project trip to Cambodia in 2016. He was also one of the lead organisers of a Japanese high school’s visit to Singapore in 2017, a member of his diploma student interest group, and helped out at a Unity workshop for his peers and juniors. Benedict also participated in an overseas leadership expedition to Perak.
Benedict looks up to his father, a principal IT analyst, as he has stayed true to his passion and inspired his son to be a programmer. He describes himself as passionate, a problem-solver and a joker. Benedict graduates top of his class, receiving the course Gold medal. He has secured a place to read Computer Science in NUS, on a scholarship. NTU has also offered him a place in its Computer Science programme.
Benedict, may you continue to fly the TP flag high!
The Lee Kong Chian Award
The Lee Kong Chian Award is given to top non-Science and Technology graduates. It is named after the prominent businessman and philanthropist Lee Kong Chian, who set up the Lee Foundation in 1952 to aid the advancement of education and help the poor, among others. The Lee Foundation has sponsored the Lee Kong Chian Award in honour of Mr Lee’s generous contributions to education and society.
Rooms instantly light up when Valli walks in—it's no wonder she’s a valedictorian. Her energy is infectious. Her charisma is through the roof. Her hunger for success pushes us to the edge of our seats! These attributes make everything about her, and around her, brighter.
"I’m all about making people happy—when they feel good, I feel good," says Valli.
Her love for Principles of Accounts was sparked in secondary school and she continued to pursue it in Higher NITEC. Doing exceptionally well with a cGPA of 3.94 landed her in TP’s Diploma in Accountancy & Finance. She continued to excel in her studies and maintained her perfect streak—graduating with an outstanding 4.0 cGPA!
Valli represented TP as a member of the Student Council of the Citi Foundation-SMU Financial Literacy Programme, where she was actively involved in planning SMU Financial Literacy courses for polytechnic and ITE students. Valli also contributed to the promotion of national events such as Fin Lit Hackathon 2021 and MyMoney@Campus. For her strong CCA contributions, Valli received the CCA Dedication Award at the Temasek Student Excellence Awards 2021.
Not only is she highly motivated and disciplined, Valli is also compassionate and giving. She was actively involved in TP’s Community Service Club’s YEAH! Programme, mentoring youths at risk. She also contributes her time at the Metta Welfare Association, helping children with special needs.
Stepping out of her comfort zone and taking on leadership roles in TP has allowed her to grow confident and believe in her potential. Once a shy and introverted girl, Valli now stands as a highly self-assured and dynamic young woman—ready to take on any challenges without hesitation.
Attributing her success to her biggest fans – her family, teachers, close friends and mentors, Valli is grateful that support comes from both school and home. She is looking to pursue Business Management at Singapore Management University, and dreams of working in the banking sector one day.
Ian Goh was one of just 20 Victoria School students selected for the Art Elective Programme, and took Higher Art from secondary one. Writing and drawing are the two things he enjoys most. Doing these in the art studio, surrounded by like-minded people, was where Ian was happiest. Talking about the “Victoria Spirit” brings a smile to his face, especially when he recalls the two tutors he looked up to most for guidance—his Higher Art teacher, Ms Lee Jia Ying, and Aesthetics & Design Head of Department, Mr Heng Swee Kiang.
Where most of his peers headed to Junior College, he followed his passion and joined TP’s Diploma in Interior Architecture & Design. Although he initially struggled with the technical fundamentals during his first year, Ian remained positive, and consistently put in his best effort. Rediscovering his happy place again in the studio, he thrived, improved his grades, and deservedly earned his spot on the Director's List twice!
A mature, respectful and kind student leader, Ian truly shone in his role as President of the Design Student Ambassadors. He kept the student leaders group united and motivated during Singapore’s unprecedented Circuit Breaker period. He also spearheaded the digitalisation efforts to refresh TP’s Freshmen Orientation Camp activities. Despite these pandemic-forced challenges, his innovative ideas kept the “Design School Spirit” alive. His efforts left a lasting impression on his lecturers and peers alike, as they had never been attempted before. For his dedication and servant leadership, Ian was awarded the CCA Dedication Award in 2021.
He credits his ability to reset and adjust in any situation to his dad, who, as a flight attendant, has to always keep to schedules while remaining flexible to changes.
His enthusiasm for grabbing every opportunity that came his way has seen him claim Gold at the Crowbar Awards and Bronze at the NEA ILOOMINATION design competition. He was also handpicked to participate in the prestigious Harvard Business School Club of Singapore Mentorship Programme. The experience broadened his perspectives as he learnt from Harvard alumni’s seasoned professionals hailing from various industries. For his internship, Ian was attached to Kingsmen, a leading design communications group. There, he had first-hand exposure to retail and commercial design, which included the invaluable experience of seeing projects throughout their entire process—from site visits to rendering and eventual construction.
Despite his busy academic and CCA commitments, Ian still finds the time for runs, walks with his family and enjoys the company of fellow Urban Sketchers Singapore artists.
Ian intends to pursue either Architecture, Landscape Architecture or Industrial Design at the National University of Singapore. He hopes to be a future contributor to Singapore's urban planning.
To Lukas, art is a form of self-expression, a type of “magic that people can appreciate.”
Indeed, it was taking a Higher Art core subject in secondary school that further developed his love for the abstract, artsy world. This, coupled with the desire to seek original and creative solutions to the wicked problems of the world prompted him to join TP’s Diploma in Product & Industrial Design course. There, he was instantly attracted to the elements and foundations of his diploma as it reminded him of how he loved to take things apart and put them back together during his childhood days.
Performing strongly academically from day one in TP, Lukas’s aesthetic eye, sense of curiosity and his ability to connect the dots between user and design outcomes has resulted in consistently sterling work that culminated in his Major Project which wowed the media at the recent Design Show 2022. His desire to create something that would be useful for the ongoing pandemic resulted in “Aegis” – a prototype of a self-sanitising material that changes colour after being contaminated by touch. He plans to use the material on the common areas of public transport such as poles, handles and leaning panels.
Our design mastermind also stood as the President of the Design Studies Club during his second year. Lukas led the team, made effective decisions, planned and executed events and was accountable for the club’s direction. His organisational skills, high level of integrity and perseverance showed through. Lukas excelled at running a team and keeping them committed from planning to execution.
From being an emcee for camps to a speaker for admissions exercise webinars, Lukas has represented TP in many events. While maintaining his stellar academic results, he still manages to have fun while planning school camps, sports events, music gigs and more—a true poster child of working hard and playing harder.
Soft-spoken and helpful, Lukas is well-loved by the TP family. His mentors and lecturers have watched him grow throughout the years, excelling in his role as a student leader and a promising designer. This multiple award winner—he’s a three-time TP Scholarship recipient, a two-time Director’s List honouree and a CCA Dedication Award 2021 recipient—is on his way to a bigger and bolder future at Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media. With his constantly curious, enquiring mind that challenges norms, his big heart for people and his artistic sensitivity, he will surely go far.
Growing up watching her parents navigate the world of business and finance, it was no wonder that Cerlynn pursued the diploma in Business at TP. She was also attracted to the idea of hands-on learning through real-world projects and the internship opportunities.
Playing basketball at Anglican High School, Cerlynn had opportunities to travel abroad for tournaments. Her travels sparked her interest in world economics, as she found herself immersed in new cultures and experiences. Driven and focused, in TP, she secured the Temasek Polytechnic Freshmen and Kelly Services Scholarships. Outside of class, she took on various leadership roles as Class Representative and Class Sports Representative. She was also a member of TP-IPRS Student Chapter, which allowed her to delve deep into her passion for public relations, organising events and industry visits that provided eye-opening and enriching experiences for herself and members of the Chapter.
Cerlynn did her internship at ED&F Man Asia Pte Ltd, under the Enterprise Singapore-Temasek Polytechnic Trade Internship Programme. During her internship in the Sugar Department, she was tasked to provide an analysis on the financial health of the company, where she used her knowledge and critical thinking skills to provide a detailed analysis that served as insights for stakeholders.
Having topped her cohort, Cerlynn has secured a scholarship and placement at Singapore Management University’s School of Economics. Her biggest inspiration is her late grandmother who taught her how to be hardworking and humble, always eager to learn new things, meet new people and embrace new experiences.
Inspired by the Dalai Lama’s words, Cerlynn always focuses on bettering herself, approaching every situation with an open mind, absorbing knowledge wherever she goes and adopting a ‘learn something new every day’ mindset.
We wish you only the best, Cerlynn!
Keisia’s love for food comes from her maternal Peranakan roots. Growing up in a household that is constantly cooking and baking, the Culinary & Catering Management (CCM) top student found herself drawn to the culinary life very early on. A trip to Paris that exposed her to new pastries became a defining moment in her culinary pursuits.
Her flair for the arts extend even beyond her culinary skills—the CHIJ Katong Convent alumna excelled in choir and drama as well. On weekends though, she would bake and sell cakes to friends and family. Joining the CCM course at TP was not only natural, it allowed her to expand her skills and boosted her confidence even more.
Honing her outstanding skills, Keisia was propelled into training for the WorldSkills Competition in 2020. With the great support from her lecturers and peers, she clinched the Bronze medal in the Restaurant Service trade. She then completed an internship with the renowned three Michelin-star restaurant, Les Amis, where she was also offered an opportunity for full-time employment before graduation.
Keisia has been accepted into the Bachelor of Business Administration in Food Business Management (Culinary Arts) programme at the Culinary Institute of America. She ultimately wants to be a head chef of a fine dining restaurant, specialising in French cuisine, as she adores the details, creativity, themes and flavour combinations in curating a French menu.
A firm believer in #YOLO (You Only Live Once), Keisia attributes her strength, determination and courage to her mother who has been her biggest inspiration and supporter from the very start.
Go forth and conquer your dreams, Keisia!
Yoda’s famous words are those that top Psychology Studies graduate Ian Soh lives by, always motivating himself to do his best.
His keen interest in working with people was stirred when he served as president of the Student Council in Nan Chiau High School and organised multiple events, meeting and working with new faces all the time. He got curious to learn how people think and their motivations; and this eagerness to understand at a deeper level got him to embark on the psychology route.
Ian’s passion for understanding human behaviour saw him working on his major project - a collaboration with the National Environment Agency - that focused on encouraging recycling in older HDB estates. Using ethnographic research, he spent his time doing face-to-face interviews with 30 different households, learning about the residents’ recycling habits.
Proactive and never shying away from helping others or leading his peers towards a good cause, as vice-president of the HSS Studies Club, he led an initiative to collaborate with Food Bank Singapore to redistribute food to the elderly poor. Whilst always concerned for others, he says that he has felt truly cared for during his journey in TP, and that “there was never a day I came to school and felt like it was too tiring.”
Ian credits his giving and nurturing attitude to his biggest inspiration—his mother, who always puts herself before others, and has a ready ear to listen.
With his outstanding academic performance, Ian also graduates with the TP-CLARITY Singapore Limited Skills Mastery Award. He has been accepted by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to pursue Economics and Psychology, under the NTU-University Scholars Programme, and looks forward to delve into areas of public policy and work in the public sector eventually.
We wish you all the best, Ian!
Matthew Quek Wei Zheng
School of Business
Matthew’s passion for numbers sparked at a very young age. He excelled in Mathematics in primary school and went on to excel in Principles of Accounts in secondary school. Scoring A’s in those disciplines came naturally to him, and he decided to tap on his strong subjects to enrol into TP’s Accounting & Finance course through the Early Admissions Exercise.
Struggling with dyspraxia from a young age, he embodies perseverance. The neurological condition makes everyday activities such as writing or typing harder to perform. With therapy, practice and a positive attitude, Matthew improved on his motor skills with utmost determination.
Matthew’s parents were greatly supportive of his decisions. “My parents are my physical and emotional pillars and they try to help me in any way they can,” expressed Matthew. “I have a close-knit family, and I want to always make them proud.” His biggest supporter from Montfort Secondary School was Claire Choy, his Maths teacher. She helped him assess his options and advised him to take the polytechnic route. True enough, in TP, he was introduced to an array of opportunities that contributed to Matthew’s growth.
While interning at an audit firm, Mazars Group, Matthew delved into transactional services where he learned how to analyse companies that clients look to acquire. He received the hands-on experience that he was looking for as he built his knowledge on acquisition and the emergence of IT in today’s society. Matthew continued to be invested in his passion, and contributed his energy to his CCA, the Accounting & Finance Interest Group. He developed his skills in events and publicity, at the same time, heading a TPSMART Financial Literacy Programme, an initiative that brings knowledge of financial literacy to secondary school students, teaching them how to manage their money.
Matthew’s education went beyond the classroom and Singapore. He volunteered his time to teach, talk and engage with children in the poor communities of Cambodia, and was part of a team which helped build roads and pathways near flood zones in Vietnam. He believes that leadership is about the back-end work, the preparations, the service and giving back to the community.
He plans to further his academic journey in a local university, and ultimately return to TP to lecture in the Accountancy & Finance course. “I get a sense of fulfilment when I teach people, and teaching helps me learn better, improving my knowledge of the subjects.”
He attributes his success to many around him who have supported him. His biggest inspiration is his mother, whom he describes as hardworking and selfless. To him, she has shown “how to be patient and gentle – the true nature of what being human means.”
Choy Fuyuan Clemens
School of Business
Clemens grew up in a family of bookworms. His parents were both librarians and his late grandfather, with whom he spent the most time, opened his eyes to worldly stories. He remembers fondly a shelf filled with dusty old books that belonged to his grandfather—each bringing to life stories about Singapore’s history, culture and folktales. His grandfather, a knowledgeable, gentle and kind man, raised Clemens through those experiences. It is only natural that today, Clemens wants to tell stories and impact people in the way that his grandfather did.
All that interest in culture and language led Clemens down the path of media and journalism. A Ngee Ann Secondary School alumnus, he entered TP via the Polytechnic Foundation Programme, and enrolled in the Communications & Media Management course. Focused on maintaining a perfect cGPA, Clemens took school very seriously, making his mark by taking the front row in his lectures all the time. It also helped him to concentrate better. His traditional ways of studying also baffled his friends as he continued to use foolscap paper and ink to do note-taking for all his classes. His old-school soul is truly charming.
Learning hands-on digital skills and having a flair for writing, Clemens wanted to create pieces that raised awareness on local culture. “Journalism, to me, is the art of storytelling and a mashup of digital media.” He sees meaning in this profession and aspires to be a great storyteller.
Interning at youth.sg, a website powered by the youth of Singapore, allowed him to push boundaries with culture and opinion pieces. He explored video production while starting a series on cultural arts in Singapore. His first feature was on “Kathakali”, a classical Indian dance featuring dancers with elaborate makeup, costumes and face masks to tell their story. “I realised I had the power to tell a visual story, and I put in most effort to talk to people and tell real stories on the ground.”
As a key committee member in Business Studies Club, Clemens thrived on planning, running and executing student camps. For him, it was the energy, the people, the atmosphere and the freedom of expression that made TP camps truly unforgettable. “I will miss the laughter and all the unique personalities that come together to run the show,” he says.
Conscious of his role in community, Clemens was also involved in publicising Smile-a-Wish, a TP student initiative to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Foundation. He also participated in the Public Utilities Board’s Splash Lab programme, in which his team won the best creative idea for a water conservation campaign.
A recipient of the TP Freshman Scholarship, Clemens says his formula for success are the work plans that he pens down in a notebook, and incorporating fun in everything that he does.
Wanting to continue this thirst for authentic storytelling, Clemens has applied for a place at NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. “I want to help people share their stories, especially the little details that often slip through the cracks.”
Aileen Ooi Ai Lin
School of Design
Aileen’s flair for design was obvious from her childhood days of drawing and painting. As she transitioned to Kranji Secondary School, she found herself deeply interested in the subject of Design & Technology (D&T), which anchors on design action and the application of knowledge and process skills. Aileen looked forward to each D&T lesson that allowed her to create her masterpieces. “I enjoyed the entire design process from paper to product, the creativity and the technological influences on design.”
Eager to enrol in TP’s Product & Industrial Design course, Aileen entered TP though the Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP). She became a PFP ambassador and visited secondary schools to educate students about the PFP route as well as polytechnic education. These experiences boosted her confidence in leadership and communication.
As vice president of her CCA, Digital Media Crew (DMC), her impact on the team saw her eventually promoted to president, helping to organise events and bringing the team to new heights as an arts group. She introduced a visual design arm to the team which developed publicity materials. Throughout her years in the CCA, Aileen showcased outstanding servant leadership.
Indeed, she is a true team player and strong leader who never hesitates to step forward and extend a helping hand even to those beyond her team. For her contributions Aileen received consecutive Service Excellence awards at the Temasek Student Excellence Awards (TSEA) in 2018 and 2019 – twice for the CCA group she was leading, and once for her outstanding individual contributions. “Being a leader helps me uplift people as I share my skills and experiences.”
She also constantly sought new learning opportunities. Through a six-month Harvard Business Mentorship programme, she learned about leadership, business ethics and growing an entrepreneurial mind. In her final year, she joined TP Emcees as a member and discovered the versatility of her voice, as a result of speaking to different groups of audiences.
For her Major Project, Aileen’s love for plants inspired her to design a plant curtain. The idea was also to promote the idea of gardening and raise awareness about the importance of plants and how they communicate environmental changes. Another master creation of Aileen’s saw her receive the IKEA Young Designers Award (and a trip to Sweden!). For this competition, she designed a small device that can be attached to our everyday standing fan, which helps to bring down the temperature of the room while being energy-efficient.
Aileen dips her toes in every opportunity that she receives, allowing her to explore and discover her interest and strengths. As she puts it, “I really believe that you can’t stop learning since there’s always something new out there.”
Well done, Aileen! There will certainly be more successes waiting for you in the future.
Lam Yoong Chiang, Clement
School of Business
Clement Lam is a confident and intelligent young gentleman who graduates with an outstanding cGPA of 3.98. However, what is truly amazing is that he achieved this in spite of being dyslexic.
The youngest child of a retired public servant and a homemaker mum, Clement’s dyslexia was diagnosed when he was in primary school. Although his parents had sought intervention from the Dyslexia Association of Singapore, he did not perform well in the PSLE, and was posted to the Normal (Academic) stream in Hai Sing Catholic School.
Determined not to let his condition limit him, Clement heeded his teachers’ advice and worked hard on reading extensively to improve his English. He was focused on his goal of getting a polytechnic education, just like his TP alumnus older brother. Through sheer perseverance, he scored 7 points in his N-Levels, and qualified for the Polytechnic Foundation Programme at TP.
Here, Clement kept a steady pace, and throughout his four years at TP, was consistently a top performer known for his diligence, discipline and motivation to excel. For his stellar academic performance, he was placed on the Director’s List for two years. He interned with Tribal Worldwide, where he performed admirably during the four-month work experience.
Besides his academic achievements, Clement’s talent shone in TP’s ultimate frisbee team, where he was appointed Vice-Captain and Captain in 2017 and 2018 respectively. With his “nothing is impossible” attitude, Clement motivated his team to push themselves harder in training and competitions. The team clinched silver medals in the Polytechnic-ITE (POL-ITE) Games for three years. Equally dedicated to his role as President of the Marketing Interest Group, Clement ensured that all events were well planned and executed, including a flea market that benefited migrant workers in Singapore.
At the Polytechnic Forum 2017, Clement’s passion to serve the community was ignited when he helped provide recommendations to preserve harmony and culture in Singapore. Describing himself as “extroverted, family and friends oriented”, his father continues to inspire Clement, who has always wanted to walk the same path as he has.
Clement’s ability to balance his commitment to his studies and CCA, while maintaining good relationships with his peers and teammates, is highly commendable. Despite his busy schedule, this multi-talented young man is also an active volunteer in the children’s ministry at church, where he plays the piano and guitar during services. He also makes time to bring children to a nursing home to sing and spread joy to the elderly. In his free time, he dabbles in the kitchen, and enjoys whipping up Western meals.
Clement is an exemplary individual who sees challenges as opportunities to further improve himself. He hopes to read Social Policy and Economics overseas after National Service. With his passion for social work, he aspires to eventually pursue a career with the Ministry of Social and Family Development or Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
Farhan B Hanis
School of Design
Farhan always turns heads when he enters a room, with his big personality and in his signature white coat. As an only child, he spent much of his childhood at his mother’s workplace after school, doodling and folding origami. Influenced by his aunt who taught him to sew and make local desserts, as well as his dressmaker grandmother, Farhan’s interest in design swelled and, by age 8, he knew he wanted to be a fashion designer.
Although fiercely independent, his grades suffered at the end of primary school, when he had to have an appendectomy. He found it challenging to catch up with schoolwork after recovering, and went on to the Normal (Academic) stream at East Spring Secondary School. His father’s passing in Secondary 2 proved difficult for him, but Farhan immersed himself in his studies and his CCA, the Art Club, and eventually made it to the Express stream.
His passion for design was further fuelled after attending the Communication Design Advance Elective Module at TP. From then on, he focused on building a solid portfolio for the Direct Polytechnic Admission application. His hard work paid off, and he gained a place in his dream course at TP.
Single-minded about his ambitions, Farhan excelled in TP. With his consistently exceptional submissions, he was on the Director’s List for two years. He humbly attributes his success to a blend of diligence and openness to feedback; always wanting to better himself. For his efforts, he was also the recipient of several awards, including Mendaki’s Anugerah Belia Cemerlang 2018.
His passion for design, attention to detail and strong technical skills brought him the Gold medal in the Fashion Technology category at the WorldSkills Singapore 2018 competition. Farhan went on to represent Singapore at the ASEAN Skills Competition 2018 and will once again do the nation proud at the WorldSkills International competition to be held in Kazan, Russia in August 2019. Farhan was fortunate to be under the mentorship of local designer Max Tan during his four-month internship, when he concurrently trained for the WorldSkills competition.
Despite the rigorous school and competition schedules, Farhan made time to help his peers, and participated in fundraising events such as Campus Care Network Day. A homely young man who treasures the little things in life, he uses his talent to give back to the community, including helping his mum sew pouches to gift underprivileged children in Batam.
Farhan describes himself as “fashionable, hardworking and sensible”, and is inspired by the legendary Karl Lagerfeld. He spends his weekends, if not working on assignments, people watching at Orchard Road. He believes in the importance of being observant and self-directed in his learning, to find new ways of producing work that is unexpected.
Farhan graduates top of his cohort with a cGPA of 3.94. He hopes to pursue Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear at Central Saint Martins–University of the Arts London, after National Service. Not afraid of hard work, Farhan is bursting with ideas and dreams to put Singapore on the world fashion map, and perhaps one day come back to TP to teach.
Remember his name – Farhan B Hanis – a promising young designer to watch and support!
Hannah Tan Wen Hui
School of Humanities & Social Sciences
Hannah Tan fondly remembers attending a children’s programme in church, where her parents work. There, she met and spent time with a special needs child who had speech difficulties. Feeling an instant connection, she knew then that she wanted to work with children when she grew up.
After attending TP’s open house, Hannah had her heart and mind set on the Early Childhood Studies (ECS) course. Eager and determined to embark on her journey towards her dream, the Nan Chiau High School alumna secured her place via the Direct Polytechnic Admissions exercise, yet still scored an L1R4 of 7 points for her O-Levels.
“Every experience is unique and something I can draw value from,” says Hannah about her polytechnic life, which she found fulfilling. Highly motivated and conscientious, with a strong passion for her course, she immersed herself in her studies and even took up a Cross-Disciplinary Subject in Music Production. Before long, Hannah evolved from the shy girl who always went home straight after school, to a confident young lady who often assisted her classmates in their assignments. In 2017, she was nominated to participate in the Industry Mentoring Network programme.
Possessing strong leadership and organisational skills, Hannah was appointed the President of OMEP Singapore Student Chapter in 2017 and 2018. She rallied her team to plan and organise activities for young children. An active leader with a heart to serve, Hannah regularly coached primary school children as a TP-BP Mentor at Tampines North Primary School, in addition to volunteering at the FoodBank Singapore. For her contributions, Hannah was awarded the BP International Mentoring & Tutoring Bronze Award.
In 2018, Hannah continued in her service to others through regular engagement at the Heartful Hands with Northeast CDC. Enthusiastic about developing her skills and broadening her knowledge, Hannah underwent training in peer support skills and understanding youth mental health issues, to better help those in need.
Over and above these commitments, Hannah also volunteered with Youth Corps Singapore, where she even more opportunities to support underprivileged children. Hannah also participated in “Jessica – Have you met her?” – a social movement and escape room series dedicated to heighten awareness of mental health issues among youth.
For her six-month internship, Hannah was attached to the Preschool Learning Academy (PLAY) at TP, where she also did her major project. The relationships she formed with the children, teachers, and parents were wonderful and meaningful experiences that taught her many life lessons.
Hannah describes herself as reserved, calm and passionate in her drive to help others, as well as for music and children. She was placed on the Director’s List for two years, and now graduates with a near-perfect cGPA of 3.91. An ECDA Training Award recipient, she is currently serving her two-year bond with Eshkol Valley Preschool. She hopes to pursue a degree in early childhood, specialising in psychology or music, and eventually work with children with special needs, as a teacher or therapist.
Hannah, you have such an amazing heart of gold and we are so proud of you!
The Tay Eng Soon Gold Medal
In 1994, the Tay Eng Soon Scholarship Fund was established in memory of the late Senior Minister of State for Education, Dr Tay Eng Soon, who played a pivotal role in the development of polytechnic and technical education. From the fund, the Tay Eng Soon Gold Medal is awarded annually to outstanding graduates from each of the polytechnics, who graduated from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) prior to their studies at the polytechnic. The Medal was first presented at the 1995 Temasek Polytechnic graduation ceremony.
During his first semester at ITE College Central’s Higher Nitec in Event Management, Chase Lim Shi You surprised himself when he achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA. In ITE, he also met Mr Nisantha Fernando, a passionate and caring lecturer who imparted many life lessons, and encouraged him to go after his dreams.
Chase’s good grades opened many doors for him. One of them was competing in the Singapore MICE Challenge organised by SACEOS (Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers). Even though his team didn’t win, Chase felt a sense of achievement for the first time in his life. It motivated him to grab every opportunity that came his way. Through determination and sheer hard work, the once goofy, clumsy and forgetful boy in secondary school, transformed into a confident young man.
After graduating from ITE, Chase earned a place in TP via the Joint Polytechnic Admissions Exercise. However, the opportunity to serve his National Service (NS) with the prestigious Naval Diving Unit (NDU) was too good to pass on. With an “If not now, then when?” mindset and despite the fact that he could not swim at the time, he decided to postpone his studies to join the Naval Diving Unit. The experience gave him life lessons in resilience, and he became a firm believer that with consistent effort, one would never live with regrets, no matter what the outcome.
After fulfilling his NS commitments, Chase finally joined TP’s Hospitality & Tourism Management (HTM) course. Much older than his classmates, with the expectation that TP was the final lap of his education journey, Chase was determined to make the most of his three years in TP. Mentored and encouraged by his lecturer Ms Ivy Tan, he joined the HTM Interest Group, and was elected the Vice-President of the CCA in his second year. Chase was also exposed to a myriad of events and public speaking opportunities, including the Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PATA) Island Xchange.
For his internship, Chase worked with an events company where he developed digital marketing assets such as games and filters, which fuelled his curiosity in IT.
Chase’s stellar academic results earned him his place on the Director’s List, twice. Today, he graduates from TP with an almost perfect 3.99 cGPA. Describing himself as humble, honest and hardworking, Chase will be continuing his education journey after all! He will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering at Singapore Management University.
Truly someone full of surprises, this part-time boxing coach has this piece of advice for everyone—to stop comparing themselves with others, always seek to understand and push themselves to greater heights. Wise words indeed!
Josiah Tham was devastated when he could not get a place in TP via the Polytechnic Foundation Programme. He lost his motivation to study, but went on to pursue a Higher Nitec in Electronics Engineering at ITE Central, on his father’s advice. There, he met his lecturer Mr Lim Ee Hai, whose belief in him spurred him on.
Due to an unfortunate accident, Josiah was forced to take up an in-house internship, a turning point that led to him realise his real passion for electronics. It was then that he took the opportunity to participate in the Lee Kuan Yew Technology Competition. Mentored by Mr Lim, he gained confidence in his knowledge and in public speaking, and eventually won the coveted top award.
Through sheer grit and hard work, Josiah achieved his dream of entering the Electronics course at TP School of Engineering. He thoroughly enjoyed his studies, consistently doing well and getting placed on the Director’s List for two consecutive years. Always optimistic, inquisitive and determined, he was also awarded the Micron Foundation Scholarship.
Not surprisingly, Josiah was selected to represent TP in the WorldSkills Singapore Competition (Mobile Robotics) in 2020. The dramatic and grueling competition experience (which included him having chicken pox!), proved worthwhile when he emerged with a Silver medal.
Josiah’s positive, caring attitude has earned him the respect of his peers and lecturers alike. An exemplary leader, he was appointed vice-president of the Engineering Peer Mentors Club, where coached fellow students who were weak in Mathematics and set the tone for commitment and dedication for other mentors to follow suit.
Josiah has gained admission into the Electrical and Electronic Engineering course at Nanyang Technological University. Inspired by his father’s dedication as a pastor, he hopes to eventually become a technopreneur and use his skills and resources to help others.
School of Engineering
As a young boy, Zhuo Weida was more interested in friends and computer games. He never understood the value and purpose of education. His father, a retired engineer and mother, an administrative assistant, did what they could to change his attitude towards school, but he remained stubborn and playful. With an O-Level score of 37 points, his only option was to take up a Higher NITEC in Mechatronics Engineering at ITE.
Throughout his two years at ITE Central, Weida’s teachers tried to encourage him, but still he did not put effort into his studies. The wakeup call came when all five polytechnics rejected his application and he had to go into National Service. It was during his time in the army that he read the self-development book Grit by Angela Duckworth, which inspired his belief that perseverance and passion is key to overcoming life’s adversities. With his army commander’s support for deferment, Weida reapplied to TP, and got into the Diploma in Business Process & Systems Engineering.
All fired up with his new lease of life, Weida was determined to make the most of his polytechnic education. As a freshman, he found the transition after not studying for two years, challenging. He remains thankful for his lecturers who offered after-class consultations and kept him focused on his goal of a making it to university.
In his second year, Weida joined not one, but two CCAs. As vice president of both his diploma club, BIZEN, and the Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES) Student Chapter, he proved himself reliable, responsible and trustworthy. “In IES, I was among well-rounded students who motivated me to work hard,” he shares. Respected by his lecturers and peers alike, Weida was appointed president of IES in his final year. He was also actively involved in the TP LEAD programme to develop high-achieving students. Seizing every opportunity that came his way, Weida participated in the Polytechnic Forum, an ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and served as a SMART Nation Ambassador.
Describing himself as resilient, adventurous and a people-oriented, Weida also has a heart for helping others. Besides volunteering at various community events, he took part in eye-opening experiences such as a community project in Laos, where his team built a library for less privileged children, and taught them English. For his achievements in and out of the classroom, Weida received the CCA Merit Award for leadership and was placed on the Director’s List for two consecutive years.
For his internship, Weida had the invaluable opportunity of working with a project team responsible for improving hotel operations at Marina Bay Sands (MBS). Impressed by his contributions and recommendations, Weida was nominated to speak at the MBS intern graduation ceremony; another unforgettable experience. “TP developed me beyond the academics, and I never enjoyed school as much as I did at TP,” he said.
Weida graduates with an impressive cGPA of 3.93 and has been offered places at both the NUS to read Business Administration and SMU to pursue the Business Management programme.
Well done, Weida! Your story of second chances is truly inspiring, and we are so proud of you.
Soh Hui Yi
School of Business
For Soh Hui Yi and her two sisters, their primary school years were very unsettling as their father was never around. Her sales promoter mother, who single-handedly dealt with the frequent visits of loan sharks was, and continues to be, the girls’ pillar of strength and protection. During those difficult times, Hui Yi and her younger sister would wait in a friend’s home until their mother brought them home each night. Despite all these distractions, Hui Yi topped her EM3 class in the PSLE and was posted to the Normal (Technical) stream in Ngee Ann Secondary School.
To lighten her mother’s burden, Hui Yi started taking up part-time jobs when she was 14 years old and ended up neglecting her studies. She went on to ITE College East where she studied Office Skills, and then proceeded to ITE College Central to do her Higher Nitec in Event Management. It was at this point that Hui Yi realised that she had to make it to a polytechnic if she wanted to succeed in life. She had gone for TP’s open house and was determined to work hard and get into the polytechnic, which she eventually did.
Getting a place in TP’s Business Studies Grouping (BSG) gave Hui Yi newfound hope that she could get into a local university. It was a dream she had barely entertained earlier in her life. Bursaries from TP and MOE helped alleviate her financial difficulties throughout her three years.
Apart from excelling in the classroom, Hui Yi also did well in her CCA. She was Vice-President and then President of the BSG Interest Group. In those roles, she organised several major events for students, many of which focused on giving back to the community.
Hui Yi also volunteered at many events including the Smile-A-Wish Fund Raising Campaign, Walk for Rice @ TP and food distribution with Mummy Yummy. A trustworthy, responsible and open-minded young lady, Hui Yi was always quick to accept tasks assigned to her and always delivered excellent work. She says all the tasks she took on helped to shape her as a more effective leader, and she always felt accountable for her team and their growth.
Hui Yi interned at Inhome Enterprise Pte Ltd where she helped develop its website and its move into e-commerce platforms. She also implemented innovative initiatives that enhanced its retail customer experiences and brought the company a step ahead of their competitors. Her contributions to the company earned her the title of Champion in the North East CDC SME Centre@ASME Business Innovation Programme Competition. This experience inspired Hui Yi to want to become a social entrepreneur in the future.
Active in the Student Leadership Programme, she participated in the Ho Rih Hwa Leadership Lecture Series at SMU with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and the 2018 University Scholars’ Leadership Symposium 2018 @ United Nations in Bangkok.
Hui Yi graduates with an impressive cGPA of 3.92 and is the worthy recipient of the Tay Eng Soon Gold Medal. She has been offered places by both SMU and NTU in their business programmes. Truly, hers is a Cinderella story come true. Her mother, who persevered and selflessly worked hard for her daughters, always supporting them, continues to inspire her.
Well done, Hui Yi! Truly, the sky is your limit.
CapitaLand Award for All-Round Excellence
The CapitaLand Award for All-Round Excellence gives commendation and recognition to graduates who excel in their studies and has outstanding co-curricular activities contributions in community service. The Award is sponsored by CapitaLand Limited, one of Asia's largest real estate companies.
Dylan Mulchand grew up watching Suits and Code of Law, always intrigued by the litigation process. At St Patrick’s School, he found his passion for public speaking in the Debate Club. He competed in the Julia Gabriel Singapore Secondary Schools Debating Championships and won Best Speaker twice! Also active as a Council of Patrician Ambassador and Journalism Club member, he still found time to volunteer with Community Laboratory @ South East CDC. Dylan received the Youth Community Leadership Gold and Excellence Awards for his efforts in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Aware of his interest in law and talent for debates, Dylan’s tuition teacher mother encouraged him to apply for TP’s Diploma in Law & Management. He thoroughly enjoyed his first-year law modules—reading cases, statutes and discussing interpretations. Always enthusiastic and curious, Dylan was constantly asking questions to satisfy his thirst for knowledge. His academic accomplishment led him to numerous book prizes and a scholarship, and also to a place on the Director’s list for two consecutive years.
A true all-rounder, Dylan served as a main committee member for the course’s interest group, LawInc. He was selected to lead as its President during his second year and received the CCA Merit Award (Leadership) in 2020 in recognition of his service. He held leadership roles in other CCA groups too—Vice-President, then President of TP Emcees and Vice-President of TP Ambassadors. An organised, responsible and kind leader, Dylan is well respected by his teachers and peers alike. For his commitment and efforts, Dylan received the Service Excellence Award and Outstanding CCA Contributions Award in 2021.
While juggling his studies and CCAs at TP, Dylan actively pursued numerous opportunities and debating competitions. At TP’s 2020 annual Justice Shield Law Advocacy Competition, Dylan was named the joint-Best Speaker and led his team to victory in the same competition. Over and above this, Dylan maintained his volunteering efforts, organising and participating in numerous community events. Yet, he miraculously still finds the time to unwind with Netflix and games such as GTA and Batman.
This highly driven young man served his 16-week internship with Tito Isaac & Co LLP. Like his peers, he emerged stronger and more adaptable to disruptions caused by the pandemic. Inspired by his businessman father, who had come from a rough childhood and worked hard to get to where he is, Dylan too believes that nothing should go uncelebrated.
Dylan has applied to read law at National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University. He dreams of eventually opening his own law firm one day.
In his own words, Alvin admits that he “was not academically inclined during his secondary school days as he did not have a goal.” After graduating from East View Secondary School with 16 points for his O-levels, he was unsure about which diploma course to pursue. Eventually, he decided on TP’s Common Engineering Programme as Mathematics is one of his stronger subjects.
The eldest of two siblings, Alvin’s part-time dental clinic work experience sparked an interest to pursue a career in the healthcare industry. Having found his passion, he decided to stream into TP’s Diploma in Biomedical Engineering in his second year. There, his academic performances skyrocketed! He was placed on the Director’s List and received the TP Scholarship (Engineering). His internship was with the Home Team Science & Technology Agency, and was commended for demonstrating resourcefulness and initiative in his tasks.
Alvin displayed exceptional leadership qualities and was selected to join the Temasek LEADership (LEAD) Programme. Under the programme’s high-performing Excel category, Alvin attended local and overseas conferences, leadership development workshops and community leadership projects. Alvin also participated in the prestigious Harvard Business School Club of Singapore Mentorship Programme and represented TP at the annual Polytechnic Forum. Under his leadership as Vice President of the Temasek LEAD Ambassadors, he helped chart the team's direction and organised projects and activities for his fellow Temasek LEAD members.
Alvin received the CCA Dedication Award, Outstanding CCA Contributions Award, and Community Service Excellence Award for his contributions and leadership excellence. He also received the TP Engineering Peer Tutoring Gold Award for helping his juniors with their studies. According to Alvin, his impressive achievements would not have been possible without the unwavering support and guidance of his then CCA advisor, Mr Edwin Khong.
As a firm believer in giving back to the community, Alvin is an active volunteer with Tampines West Community Club and serves as a Grassroots Leader at the Tampines Grace Residents' Network. Alvin introduced and led his TP peers in community service projects such as "Bags of Joy", distributing food packages to needy families. “I am someone who enjoys doing something practical to help others,” he said.
Alvin graduates with an impressive cGPA of 3.99 and has received a scholarship from the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Keen to pursue the field of medical research, such as cures for infectious diseases or improving surgical tools, he has also applied to join Nanyang Technology University’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.
Well done, Alvin! Truly, the sky is your limit!
Lucas Chew’s passion for fish and plants is ever growing, as he graduates from his Biotechnology course with the TP-CHEMTRON Skills Mastery Award. In 2020, he received the EXPLORE! Young Marine Scientist Research Award, for his outstanding proposal in exploratory marine science research. The award enabled him to carry out his major project at St John’s Island National Marine Laboratory, where he also underwent his internship.
A true all-rounder, this Anglo-Chinese Secondary School (Barker Road) alumnus was vice-captain and eventually captain of TP’s swimming and lifesaving team, earning himself the CCA Merit Award (Sports) and the Sports Colours Award in 2020. While juggling his studies and CCAs at TP, he bagged 20 gold, three silver and seven bronze medals in both swimming and lifesaving competitions. Lucas also represented Singapore at the 19th Asian Finswimming Championships and will be among Team Singapore’s finswimming athletes at the 2021 SEA Games.
A mature thinker and an eloquent speaker, he was a regular student panelist at major events. He represented TP at the Pre-University Seminar and Polytechnic Forum, and was awarded Best Speaker at the ASC Student Forum in 2019.
This highly driven young man also has a heart for serving the community. His keen interest in farming led him to be part of a team that proposed ideas to transform rooftops in Leng Kee into high-tech farms. This clinched them the Promising Award at the National Youth Council Singapore Youth Action Challenge. He has also co-authored and published a book, “Just Being Nosy: Everything you need to know about your dysfunctional nose and how to fix it”, which sold more than 60 copies within a month of publication.
Lucas will pursue the Environmental Studies Programme at Yale-NUS College, and dreams of becoming a marine biologist.
The best is certainly yet to be, Lucas.
Growing up watching CSI, Muhammad Juraimi B Rafinyi has always been curious about criminal minds, which led him to TP’s Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics course. The eldest son of a law firm clerk and housewife, this Dunman Secondary School alumnus describes himself as hardworking, optimistic, and playful. He always sets the bar high for himself and as a result, twice earned his place on the Director’s List. For his consistent academic excellence, he was also awarded the ST Engineering Electronics Scholarship.
Juraimi has a deep passion for learning and puts his best effort in whatever he does. In 2020, he underwent the grueling training for the WorldSkills Singapore Competition in the IT Network Systems Administration trade. Hard work, commitment and sacrifice eventually paid off and he clinched a Silver medal. Never one to turn down opportunities, he went on study trips to Moscow, as well as Harvard and MIT in the US, where he learned about new cybersecurity technologies and immersed himself in the culture.
Meticulous, organised and responsible, Juraimi served as president of the Association for Information Security Professionals (AiSP) in 2020 where he took charge of laying down its foundations and vision. He received the AiSP Student Volunteer Recognition Programme Bronze Award in 2019 and Silver Award in 2020 for his outstanding contributions.
With a heart for serving others, Juraimi was appointed Quartermaster and then vice-president of TP’s Civil Defence Lionhearters Club. His compassionate nature and leadership abilities earned him the respect of his peers and the CCA Merit Award (Leadership).
Juraimi also graduates with the TP-SCS Skills Mastery Award. He has been offered a place in the National University of Singapore to read Computer Science and aspires to be a forensics investigator or an IT lecturer in the future.
Phyllis Soo Hui Min
School of Business
Passionate, people-oriented and hardworking. Say hello to Phyllis Soo Hui Min, a bubbly young lady with an infectious smile, despite having to exercise maturity and resilience from a very young age.
Coming from a single-parent household, Phyllis had even contemplated not pursuing her studies at TP due to the costs involved. Strong family support and bursaries, however, helped the St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School alumna overcome these hurdles as she went on to become a model student with an exemplary record. “TP’s Business course gave me many options for my future, and the vibrancy and cheerful atmosphere on campus always made me feel welcome.”
Having practiced modern dance since her primary and secondary school days, it was only natural for Phyllis to pick the Temasek Polytechnic Dance Ensemble as her CCA. She would go on to perform in the group’s headline concerts, including GEM 13- Vitality and 2018 DREAMS X. However, rigorous training sessions and a demanding schedule would soon take their toll on the avid dancer and she decided to withdraw from her CCA in her second year of studies. “I felt like I was stretching myself too much and really needed a break,” she shared.
As fate would have it, this break would lead her to her calling. “I had the opportunity to go for a Youth Expedition Project in Vietnam in my second year, and it was an eye-opening experience. We helped build roads for the local community there and got to work with so many kids. It changed my mindset and made me grateful for what I had.”
Her experiences in the YEP inspired her to join TP’s Community Service Club. She would go on to be appointed its president and led the team to a whopping 13 projects over eight months. These included roadshows for the Yellow Ribbon Project and a collaboration with the Institute of Mental Health to raise awareness on mental health issues faced by today’s youth. Her strong leadership skills saw the Community Service Club reach out to a total of 2,500 beneficiaries.
She was also an active volunteer with the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS), and in community projects for the needy in Kembangan-Chai Chee estate.
This all-rounder graduates with a cGPA of 3.98, having been placed on the Director’s List and excelling during her internship at startup firm Boxgreen. “My lecturers were very supportive, and this certainly helped during times when I felt overwhelmed.”
So what’s next for this remarkable young lady? “I want to be able to give my dad a better life and lighten any burden he may have. He is someone I love very much, and I want him to be free of any worries.” Phyllis recently received a scholarship offer from NTU, and offers from SMU and NUS for places in their business programmes.
Displaying a sense of maturity and resilience that far belie her tender years, Phyllis looks set to be a leading light and an inspiration to us all for years to come.
Nimalan s/o Anbhuarasan
School of Engineering
Nimalan S/O Anbhuarasan boasts an impressive track record from his time in TP. His accomplishments include being twice placed on the Director’s List, being appointed President of the Engineering Makers Club and excelling in the Temasek Leadership Programme. He graduates with a perfect cGPA of 4.0. He attributes his success to hard work and being passionate about what he does.
“My love for aviation stems from my time at the School of Science and Technology. I was part of the Singapore Youth Flying Club for my CCA and was fortunate to win a competition called the Aero Challenge, which involved flying drones,” he shares.
TP’s partnership with globally renowned Lufthansa Technical Training sealed the deal and won him over to the Aerospace Electronics course. His start to life at TP though, was not as smooth as he had hoped for. “I was unfamiliar with hands-on skills such as soldering and had to adapt to a new learning environment.” As daunting as this was for him, Nimalan was up for the challenge. He displayed an innate ability to learn new concepts quickly and was soon in a position to impart his skills to members of the public. As president of the Engineering Makers Club, he helmed community service programmes and workshops, which taught participants skills such as gift making and 3D drawing.
His adaptability came to the fore once again during his internship at A*STAR’s Advanced Remanufacturing Technological Centre. There, he was required to test himself in unfamiliar disciplines such as Internet of Things and cloud-based computing. “I was exposed to the research aspects of engineering at A*STAR. I had a lot of catching up to do due to the new skills I had to acquire, but it all paid off eventually.” Not only did he impress his supervisors with his hard work and eagerness to learn, but his internship experience also helped reveal a newfound love for research – a passion he hopes to turn into a career in the future.
Apart from excelling in his academics, Nimalan also displays a strong willingness to give back to the community. “My father did a lot of volunteer work in his free time, and that definitely influenced me.” He volunteered for peer tutoring before going on to sign-up for a Youth Expedition Project in Myanmar, helping with the installation of solar-powered food dryers for local communities there. Buoyed by this experience, he also volunteered with the YWCA to mentor disadvantaged children.
Currently waiting to enlist for his National Service, Nimalan has received a scholarship to pursue a degree in Aerospace Engineering at Nanyang Technological University. He also hopes to walk in the footsteps of Dr Abdul Kalam, a famed aerospace scientist and former President of India.
We’re all rooting for you, Nimalan!
Cassandra Yip Ai Lin
School of Applied Science
With parents who met when they were both dive instructors, it is no surprise that Cassandra Yip loves the outdoors and has boundless energy for adventure.
The eldest of two daughters, her father is a licensed aircraft engineer and her mother is a swimming coach. Knowing her strength in Mathematics and Science, and with support from her father who had studied at a polytechnic, the Anglican High School student soon found TP’s Biotechnology course her only choice. She applied to TP via the Direct Polytechnic Admission exercise.
Enthused by the variety of CCA opportunities at TP, Cassandra plunged into netball, aikido, life-saving, Digital Media Crew and dragon boat; to name a few. However, her grades soon began to slip, and Cassandra decided to streamline her activities to focus more on her studies.
She did not give up being part of TP’s Wildlife and Marine Conservation Interest Group though. Fully aware that that “privilege is invisible to those who have it”, her passion for the environment and desire to make a difference in the lives of others saw her take on the mantle of President in 2017 and 2018. Leading and contributing come naturally to Cassandra, and she was Head Project Leader for a Youth Expedition Project to Vietnam. During the trip, the team helped to build roads and toilets in a village, as well as taught their children Mathematics, English, Art and Craft, and personal hygiene. The eye-opening experience showed her that “when you take away all the noise and distractions, life can be very simple, and we should appreciate that”.
These achievements, together with her involvement in other activities outside of school such as being a part-time children’s swimming coach and a lifeguard, scored her a National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) Gold. As a recipient of this award, Cassandra was one of two Singaporean delegates at the International Swiss Talent Forum in Switzerland, where she met with thought leaders and discussed the future of work with artificial intelligence. She also participated in the United Nations’ 9th University Scholars Leadership Symposium in 2018.
Cassandra remains humble and hardworking, and is well-liked and respected by her teachers and peers. An outstanding student, she performed well during her six-month internship with Novartis Pharmaceutical, and took on two challenging Differential Research Projects in TP.
Describing herself as happy, adventurous and grateful, she learned important lessons from her father who taught about putting family first and being kind to others. He has inspired and encouraged her, telling her to seize every opportunity, including taking up a University Preparatory Programme in Mathematics during the school holidays.
Cassandra graduates with an impressive cGPA of 3.71. Her accomplishments, excellent time management, big-heartedness and dedication to everything she does embodies an all-rounder fully deserving of this award. Her love for the environment gives her a steady direction. The business development associate with Young Sustainable Impact Southeast Asia - a youth driven initiative to tackle sustainability issues - has applied to both the NUS and NTU to read Environmental Studies.
Cassandra, we know you will achieve anything you set your heart and mind on. Go for it!
Cheung Zhi Heng
School of Informatics & IT
Cheung Zhi Heng is a friendly, positive, hardworking young man, who is not only passionate about continuous learning, but also possesses a natural desire to help people, and make a difference.
A Junyuan Secondary School alumnus, Zhi Heng went all out for his O-Levels and scored 13 points. Undecided on the course to pursue, his parents – a restaurant manager and a housewife – suggested either accounting or cybersecurity. After researching emerging industries and attending TP’s open house, he decided on the Big Data Management & Governance course.
Although he found his first year at TP challenging, Zhi Heng remained focused on his goals, and prioritised his weaker subjects. An independent learner, he always made an effort to think out of the box and include non-textbook content in his submissions, for that added edge. Zhi Heng also took up a Cross-Disciplinary Subject, Sustainable Community Development, which offered him opportunities in community service and opened his eyes to people with special needs. His stellar grades saw him placed on the Director’s List for two consecutive years.
Zhi Heng’s insatiable appetite for knowledge earned him a spot in the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) Industry Preparation for Pre-Graduates (iPREP) programme. In his final semester, he served a seven-month internship at the Changi Airport Group. His professionalism, ability to pick up new technologies and willingness to go the extra mile were greatly valued by his team. These qualities, together with his analytical prowess and resilience shone through in competitions such as the PortfolioQuest FinTalent and Criminal Behavioural Analysis Competition. He was often placed amongst the top three.
Selected for the Student Leadership Programme, Zhi Heng seized every opportunity to develop holistically, participating in programmes such as Networking & Entrepreneurship – Start Small But Start Young, and the Polytechnic Forum.
Zhi Heng’s drive and growth mindset saw him excel out of the classroom too. He joined the TP Civil Defence (TP-CD) Lionhearters Club where he was appointed Head of Training in his second year. For his leadership and contributions, he received the Most Outstanding Lionhearters Award and the CCA Merit Award (Leadership) in 2017.
An active grassroots volunteer and a TP-BP Mentor, he served in the People’s Association-TP Community Leadership Programme and tutored disadvantaged children at Tampines North Primary School. Yet another meaningful time spent for Zhi Heng was in the Youths Engaged at Heartland (YEAH) mentoring programme at Tampines West Community Club. Believing that “if you help children do the right thing, you will make a positive impact on their lives”, he was a positive role model, providing support for underprivileged and emotionally-at-risk children. In recognition for his efforts, he received the TP-BP Mentoring Most Enthusiastic Mentor Award and BP International Mentoring & Tutoring Bronze Award in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Zhi Heng graduates with an excellent cGPA of 3.81 and aspires to be a data analyst or scientist. This outstanding all-round performer has been offered a place to read Computer Science with a Minor in Business at NTU.
The Ngee Ann Kongsi Most Outstanding Overcomer Award
The Ngee Ann Kongsi Most Outstanding Overcomer Award gives recognition to a student who has demonstrated strong perseverance in overcoming the odds and setbacks in life to complete the course of study with good academic records, and is exemplary in his or her conduct. It is named after the renowned charitable foundation, The Ngee Ann Kongsi, in honour of its generous contribution to TP.
Matthew Ng De En’s cerebral palsy—diagnosed when he was just nine months old—is the reason behind his unsteady gait and slurred speech. Yet he says, “I am often told that the big smile I wear on my face stands out more than any of my shortcomings.” Over the years, Matthew’s strive for independence and his unshakable will to live a life that is as normal as possible is an inspiration to many.
Matthew graduated from Sengkang Secondary School in 2018 as the top student in Humanities. He then decided to join TP’s School of Informatics & IT. Matthew says his choice to study IT is driven by his needs—the need to make a living and the need to leverage technology that could bridge the gap between impairment and quality of life.
Well-read, intelligent and technically competent, Matthew graduates from TP with an amazing cGPA of 3.69! He describes himself as optimistic, confident and resilient. How apt for a young man who says, “I see the impossible as: I’m possible”. According to his lecturers, the tougher the challenges, the more determined Matthew is to overcome them.
Matthew’s internship and major project were with the State Courts. Together with his team, he helped the organisation revamp its website, including a resource portal that ASEAN member countries can use to guide and improve State Court’s performance.
His close-knit family comprises mum, dad and younger sister. They enjoy watching movies and trying out new food places on the weekends. Last year, after being challenged by his mother, Matthew created ‘My Weekend Bakery’, an online portal to sell her cakes and bakes. The mother-son duo also sets aside a portion from each sale, donating it to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS) twice a month.
Matthew looks up to Australian American Christian evangelist and motivational speaker, Nick Vujicic, who was born without arms or legs. He remarks, “The most important thing I learnt from Nick would be not allowing others to determine my self-worth and value.”
Matthew has applied to pursue a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Computer Science in Interactive Media & Game Development at the Singapore Institute of Technology. He has also applied to the Singapore University of Technology and Design, where he hopes to specialise in Computer Science & Design if accepted.
Matthew is a young man with many dreams. He wants to build websites, become a social media content creator and also hopes to open a fitness centre one day for the 'differently-abled'.
Matthew, may you continue to inspire people and move mountains!
Born premature, Alina was diagnosed with diplegic cerebral palsy affecting both legs. Her early years were beset with operations, physiotherapy and constant pain but Alina never gave in. “I am no different from anyone else, I only have to find different ways to get the same results,” she says. Indeed, she has never allowed her illness to stand in the way of being fully involved and committed to life.
Alina did her N-levels at Macpherson Secondary School, then went on to do Higher NITEC in IT which she continued to pursue when she came to TP. In spite of her condition and coping with constant pain, Alina always demonstrated outstanding grit and determination. She attained excellent grades, participated actively in student life, and gave her time generously to the community. She attributes this to her parents who taught her never to use her disabilities as an excuse not to do something.
A strong believer in giving back, Alina served as secretary of TP's Global Connect Student Club, helping to organise events such as the Purple Parade and orientation camps. She was also a TP Peer Supporter who made herself available to students who needed a listening ear. She supported the Gift of Joy Project in 2018 with the TP Students' Union, and assisted with food distribution to needy families through the EastEats project.
Alina’s greatest love though, is horse-riding, as it gives her movement freedom. Inspired by national para-equestrian rider Laurentia Tan, Alina herself took up horse riding when she was 10. In 2013, she won first place in the para-dressage competition in Selangor and her dream is to represent Singapore in the Paris Paralympics in 2024.
Alina will pursue a Bachelor of Science (Information Systems) at Singapore Management University, majoring in Smart-City Management & Technology. “I hope to eventually get a job where I can contribute towards the creation of inclusive devices,” she says.
Alina, may you continue to inspire others as you achieve your dreams!
Pearlyn Tan Sin Ping
School of Business
It was a dream come true for Pearlyn Tan Sin Ping when she started her Accounting & Finance course in TP, for she had been on a bumpy road before that. After her PSLE results saw her posted to the Normal (Academic) stream at Pasir Ris Secondary School, Pearlyn observed how her friends studied and was motivated to better her performance. It was through sheer determination, that the youngest of three daughters of a technician and an operations support officer, entered TP’s Polytechnic Foundation Programme. Things were finally looking up, or so she thought…
She had a high fever just after starting her first year, followed by massive headaches, numbness in her feet and a tingling sensation in her fingers and toes. Then when liquid she consumed uncontrollably dripped out the side of her mouth, Pearlyn was rushed to the nearest A&E and immediately put under critical care. She was suffering from Guillain-Barré syndrome – a rare disorder where her body's immune system attacks her nerves. Over the next five days, gripped by fear and confusion, Pearlyn underwent intravenous immunoglobulin treatment as paralysis set in from her feet upwards and in half her face, impairing her ability to speak.
Pearlyn was hospitalised for four months. Apart from the medical treatment, she also underwent physiotherapy and speech therapy, ate blended food, endured sleepless nights and lost more than 10 kg in weight! Both her mother and eldest sister left their jobs to care for Pearlyn. There were many days when twin sister, Pearly, would stay the night with her, while her course mates would visit every week and bring lesson notes. So determined was Pearlyn to get back to normal life that she even insisted on doing a test from her hospital bed! The resounding desire in her head was just one goal: “I want to study”.
Pearlyn returned to school in a wheelchair with the single determination to make up for lost time and not to extend her polytechnic education by another year. With the help of an academic adviser, she doubled up on her classes while going for physiotherapy twice a week. Two months later, she progressed to a walking stick. “Everything was happening very fast but I just focused on studying,” she said. Pearlyn went on to do a successful 20-week internship with audit firm, CA Trust PAC.
“I have seen how vulnerable life is and I am so thankful for this second chance at life. I know my parents and sisters sacrificed so much for me and today, I cherish my life, my family, my time and my studies. My mother especially, suffered so much. Apart from the emotional stress, she quit her job and came to care for me in the hospital. Knowing I was afraid to be alone, she slept on a chair by my side, enduring backaches and discomfort. Yet, she never complained and would cook or buy me food I liked to eat – truly, she is my inspiration,” says Pearlyn.
Despite her traumatic experience, Pearlyn graduates with an amazing cGPA of 3.97. She describes herself as being persevering, patient and independent. She has gained admission into the accountancy programmes in Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore, and eventually wants to be an auditor.
Well done Pearlyn! We know that nothing can stand in the way of your tenacious spirit!
School of Informatics & IT
As a two-year-old, when Jessen was unable to walk, his anxious parents checked with doctors who diagnosed him with having Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2 – a motor neuron disease that causes the loss of motor functions. Today, Jessen has lost strength in the muscles of his legs and requires the use of a motorised wheelchair. Yet, this young man, the eldest of three sons of accountants, remains positive, always sporting a ready smile.
Forced to choose a CCA when he was in Primary 4 in Geylang Methodist School, he decided to join the Media Robotics Club, just so he could make computer games! It was here that he learned to develop games and fell in love with game development.
Fiercely independent, he worked hard at his studies at Geylang Methodist School (Secondary), to realise his dream of pursuing the game development course at TP. All was well until Secondary 3, when his spine had bent so much to the left that he required surgery to insert a steel rod to straighten it. After the surgery, Jessen contracted pneumonia and had to stay in hospital for another month. Despite all the catching-up he needed to do, Jessen remained focused and aced his O-levels, attaining a net aggregate score of 7 points.
The transition from secondary school to polytechnic was initially hard for Jessen, as he found the workload heavy and he had to familiarise himself with the new campus. He had also started travelling to and from TP by bus and MRT on his own. It proved to be a year of challenges, adjustments and opportunities, which he finished with flair by getting on the Director’s List for his stellar academic performance. He repeated this feat in his second year.
Fervent about making the environment more inclusive, Jessen is keen to use technology to improve the lives of people, particularly those who have disabilities. In his second year, he led a team of students in the Microsoft Singapore Imagine Cup Competition 2018 where they proposed a navigation app to help the wheelchair-bound find accessible routes and avoid obstacles like overhead bridges and stairs. Jessen focused his research on integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning into this solution. He also competed in the Splash Awards 2018 and attended the Serious Games Conference.
In his final year, Jessen was part of the team commissioned to develop a mobile game for National Day 2018. Titled “NDP Jalan!”, the game enabled users to familiarise themselves with Singapore’s civic district through fun activities and the use of augmented reality technologies. Jessen also completed a six-month internship at the Bioinformatics Institute at A*STAR. Witty and articulate, his course-mates have the highest respect for him because he is responsible, self-motivated and intelligent.
With his great passion and technical aptitude, Jessen graduates with an outstanding cGPA of 3.93 and is the Bronze medallist of his course cohort. While he eventually hopes to pursue a university degree to deepen his skills in game design and development, he has decided to get more experience first, by working with a game development company.
So whom does Jessen admire? “Game developers – because they are in the line of work, regardless of how hard it is, purely because of their love and passion for games, and I respect that.”
Bravo, Jessen! We are so proud of you.
Lee Kong Chian Award for All-Round Excellence
The Lee Kong Chian Award for All-Round Excellence gives commendation and recognition to students who excel in both their studies and co-curricular activities. It is named after the prominent businessman and philanthropist, Lee Kong Chian, who set up the Lee Foundation in 1952 to aid the advancement of education and help the poor, among others. The Lee Foundation has sponsored the Lee Kong Chian Award for All-Round Excellence in honour of Mr Lee’s generous contributions to education and society.
Tan Yue Ting
School of Business
A national youth squad basketballer since Primary School, Tan Yue Ting recalls spending 80 percent of her time playing basketball, and the rest pretending to study or just sleeping in class.
Yue Ting entered Dunman Secondary School under the Direct School Admission Exercise, but was always in the last class. Thankfully, she reached a turning point in Secondary 3 when she barely scraped through her exams. Motivated by the stern but kind words from her form teacher, and encouraged by her friends, she decided to put her basketball aside and focus on her studies.
Yue Ting also grew up with a passion for travel and adventure, having fond memories of family holidays. Inspired by her aunt who works in the hotel line and gets to travel for her job, the O-level 5-pointer decided to forgo a junior college offer and pursue the Hospitality & Tourism Management course at TP.
Throughout her three years at TP, Yue Ting was an exemplary student and enthusiastic learner, winning several book prizes and earning her place on the Director’s list in her first and second years. Known by her lecturers for being well-read and mature beyond her years, she is never afraid to speak up in class, giving her perspectives on issues and challenges faced by the travel and tourism industry.
Back on the court, Yue Ting was a key player in TP’s women’s basketball team, winning two gold and two silver medals at the POL-ITE and IVP Games respectively, and was appointed team captain. Assertive and influential, Yue Ting displayed good leadership over her team, graciously using her experience to guide and develop players.
Despite her rigorous academic and basketball training schedules, Yue Ting still managed to complete four Cross-Disciplinary Subjects instead of the required three. Constantly on a quest for new experiences, she participated in many student leadership programmes as a TP Scholar, including youth leadership forums and Outward Bound Taiwan. A highly disciplined individual, she also has a cheeky sense of humour, sharing that “when something needs to be done, don’t procrastinate. Studies and basketball always come first, with the exception of supper!”
In her final year, Yue Ting had the invaluable opportunity of spending the first six weeks of her internship with The Westin Singapore, and another five months at the prestigious LUX* Le Morne Resort in Mauritius.
Yue Ting tops her cohort and graduates with a perfect cumulative grade point average of 4.0. The elder of two daughters, Yue Ting’s parents – mother is a secretary and father an engineer – have always been supportive of her decisions and, in her words, have “learnt to let her go”. She describes herself as “crazy, stubborn and adventurous”, and has decided to put university plans on hold to spend a year gaining work experience to confirm her passion for the hospitality industry.
Truly, Yue Ting is one tenacious adventure seeker ready to take on the world!
Andria Tan Yi Ying
School of Humanities & Social Sciences
From a young age, Andria Tan’s parents encouraged her to take up all types of sports – fencing, netball, swimming, sailing and cross-country… and she enjoyed them all! A member of the national windsurfing team while coping with the demands of being a double Science and Mathematics student in St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School, Andria is no stranger to discipline and good time-management.
The oldest daughter of a retired RSAF helicopter pilot and housewife mother, Andria’s father hoped she would pursue a career in aeronautical engineering. Then a fan of television series Criminal Minds and CSI, Andria enjoyed talking to, understanding and helping people. Adamant that she wanted to choose a course she was interested in, Andria enrolled in TP’s Psychology Studies course via the Direct Polytechnic Admissions Exercise.
A highly motivated, intelligent and conscientious individual, Andria was consistently one of the top performers in her cohort and was placed on the Director’s List for her stellar academic performance in her first year. She actively pursued her interest in research and was selected for the diploma elective Special Project in which she was involved in a collaboration with the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) to develop a range of instruments to measure children’s literacy proficiency. Having a younger sister who suffers from dyslexia, the project was even more meaningful for Andria.
Andria was also hand-picked for an Overseas Student Internship Programme at the Spatial Memory Lab at Flinders University in Australia. For her Major Project, Andria investigated how different ways of communicating fertility-related information will affect a person’s attitude towards marriage and childbirth.
Believing that she could also contribute to TP’s sporting culture, Andria involved herself in TP’s kayak racing team in her first year, training at least three times a week. She was also an integral part of the women’s team competing in the POL-ITE championship, National Junior Canoeing Championship and the Singapore Canoe Marathon.
Andria also participated in numerous Student Leadership Programmes, including youth leadership forums and the Outward Bound Taiwan Leadership Expedition. She fondly remembers “appreciating the view for the first time, and thereafter translating that experience to making the most of everything I do in poly and life.”
Describing herself as “determined, optimistic, and a servant leader”, Andria was also president of the TP NYAA Challenge Interest Group and lead many others to achieve the prestigious NYAA Gold Award. For her admirable academic excellence and CCA contributions, Andria was awarded the Lee Foundation Scholarship as well as the CCA Merit Award (Leadership) in 2015.
Andria graduates with a cumulative grade point average of 3.87. Although she has received an offer to read Arts & Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore, she has enlisted in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and is currently serving her Basic Military Training. Andria hopes to obtain an SAF Scholarship to pursue a psychology degree course overseas and eventually serve the nation as an SAF psychologist.
See Kai Ting Shermaine
School of Business
Shermaine See loves basketball. Her passion for sports runs in her family as her father, a GlaxoSmithKline technician, and homemaker mum, played on the national pétanque squad. Her older sister is a touch rugby player.
After a year at Nanyang Junior College, Shermaine found difficulty coping with her studies and being on the national youth basketball team. Encouraged by her coach, a TP alumnus, she decided to enroll into TP’s Business course via the Direct Admission Exercise.
The former Yishun Town Secondary School student thrived at TP, proving herself to be a proactive learner, and able to grasp ideas and concepts quickly. Confident and able to communicate well, Shermaine was an active participant in class discussions, and always striving for excellence. For her stellar academic performance, Shermaine was placed on the Director’s List in 2013. In 2014, she was a recipient of the Kelly Services Scholarship.
A star player in TP’s women’s basketball team, she quickly assumed the role of captain and led her team to win their historic first-ever Polytechnic-ITE (POL-ITE) Gold medal in 2013, and again the following year. The team also clinched one bronze and two silver medals at the Institute- Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) Games during her reign as team lead. For her outstanding CCA achievements, Shermaine was awarded the prestigious Lee Foundation CCA Scholarship in 2013.
In her second semester at TP, Shermaine suffered an athletes’ biggest nightmare – a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her knee during the FIBA Asia basketball tournament. She describes her post-surgery period as “one of the lowest and most stressful times” in her life, as she had to stay away from the basketball court for six months to recover. But with intense rehabilitation and physiotherapy, and with the help of her team mates who kept motivating and encouraging her, Shermaine bounced back.
Shermaine describes herself as “disciplined, happy and a food-lover”. She is inspired by the film, Coach Carter, about a controversial high school basketball coach who benched his undefeated team due to their poor collective academic record. Shermaine always prioritises her studies above all else. Traveling to and from her home in Woodlands to TP daily, she personifies true discipline and dedication, ensuring quality and timeliness in everything she delivers.
Despite her hectic academic and basketball training schedules, Shermaine is an active participant in community projects such as TP’s CCN Day and School of Business’ i.CARE group that supports food distribution exercises to the less fortunate.
Shermaine graduates with an excellent cumulative grade point average of 3.87, and will be pursuing a degree in Business at the Nanyang Technological University. A member of the national senior women’s basketball squad, she will be representing Singapore in the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2015. As with everything else she has done, we know Shermaine will put in her best effort to bring glory to Singapore. All the best, Shermaine!
Estella Koh Siew Lee
School of Engineering
Estella has always been amazed at how aeroplanes are able to fly. She was just 6 years old when her uncle and role model, an airforce aircraft maintenance officer, took her to her first airshow. From then on her interest in aeroplanes deepened. With an impressive O-Level score of 5 points, Estella had her heart set on TP’s Aerospace Engineering course, to her parents’ and teachers’ initial disapproval.
Throughout her three years at TP, Estella was an exemplary student and enthusiastic learner. Following her excellent performance during her six-month training at Lufthansa Technical Training Singapore (LTTS), she was selected for the Higher Aerospace Engineering Training (HAET) industrial attachment programme with Pratt & Whitney Canada.
Always willing to try new things, the Compassvale Secondary School alumna had joined the TP salvo drums team even though she did not have a music background. But she persevered and formed a special bond with her team mates she now calls her “second family”. Estella soon assumed the position of president, and successfully led her team of drummers in many large-scale events including the World Lin Chamber of Commerce Installation Ceremony, the 13th ASEAN Food Conference, TP Dreams VI concert, and the China Arts Leadership Exchange Programme.
Epitomising the qualities of servant leadership, Estella is known for being a disciplinarian, yet is a well-liked and respected mentor who is always there for her team. In recognition of her CCA contributions, Estella received the CCA Arts Merit Award, the CCA Leadership Merit Award and was an integral part of the Salvo Drums’ Arts Group of the Year win in 2014.
Estella’s positive attitude has seen her through challenging times. Coming from a humble background, the youngest of four children has been working while studying since the age of 16, to help finance her studies. Experiencing hardship has made her even more determined to strive for excellence and maintain her TP Scholarship each year.
Estella’s inquisitive mind and hunger to learn has helped her cope with the rigours of her course and CCA. She was placed on the Director’s List in her second year, and continued to show consistency in her work to emerge among the top 10 percent of her cohort each year. “Determined, positive and caring” – these are words that Estella uses to describe herself as she graduates with a near-perfect cumulative grade point average of 3.96.
“Interest is one thing, passion is another”, says Estella who, despite a heavy course load, working part-time and CCA commitments, successfully completed the Diploma Plus Programme in Cross-Cultural Studies. Indeed, her passion and dedication embodies an allrounder fully deserving of this award. Estella has gained a place in Nanyang Technological University’s Aerospace Engineering programme and aspires to be a researcher in the aerospace industry, specifically looking into prevention of aviation accidents.
Ee Lee Yee
School of Engineering
Ee Lee Yee is an amazing young lady whose circumstances have made her wise beyond her years. The second of three daughters, she took on the role of mother to her younger sister when the three girls were left to fend for themselves in Singapore. Their mother, a single parent, had to return to Malaysia but was determined that her daughters get educated in Singapore.
When her elder sister got into the Aerospace Electronics course in TP, Lee Yee was very sure that she wanted to follow suit. At Siglap Secondary School, she found English Language very difficult – she never passed the subject. But through sheer hard work, she got a B3 at the O levels. A track and field athlete and a badminton player in school, Lee Yee is extremely disciplined, focused and independent.
Her biggest inspiration in life is her elder sister May Yee, whom she holds in high regard. Following her footsteps, Lee Yee took up Aerospace Electronics in TP and consistently did well. A TP Scholar, she graduates with a cumulative grade point average of 3.9 and was placed on the Director’s List for two years. Lee Yee also completed a Diploma Plus Programme, attaining a Certificate in the Management & Enterprise cluster. When she underwent the Lufthansa Technical Training programme, she scored a distinction for her major project and was awarded a Certificate of Recognition at the end of the attachment. Lee Yee was also one of a handful of students who passed the CAAS exams – M6 (Materials & Hardware) and M7 (Maintenance Practices) – usually taken by industry professionals. It was therefore no surprise that she was selected for the Higher Aerospace Engineering Training (HAET) programme, a six-month long industrial attachment at Thales Solutions Asia Pte Ltd.
Lee Yee excelled out of the classroom too. Not one to give up on anything she undertakes, she accompanied a friend in trying out for Salvo Drums and got hooked! She eventually took on the role of group leader, trainer, choreographer and performing artist, honing the drumming techniques and perfecting the group’s tightly-synchronised performances. She was also responsible for the musical scoring and arrangement for the performances. As Vice-President, Lee Yee made training motivational and fun, always stressing on group bonding and mutual respect.
The group delivered high quality performances during the 20th World Orchid Conference, a Lions XII Malaysia Super League match and the Singapore Manufacturing Federation’s 81st Anniversary, to name a few events. Lee Yee also organised a Salvo Drums Malaysia Arts Leadership Exchange Programme and led her group in performing for the annual Dreams and Global Community Day events at TP.
It is amazing how this young lady juggled her home, school and part-time work commitments. A firm believer in hard work and respect, Lee Yee has been offered a place in the second year of the Nanyang Technological University’s Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree programme.
Kudos to you Lee Yee!
Yen Mei Yi
School of Humanities & Social Sciences
As a child, Yen Mei Yi wanted to be a doctor as she desired to help people. However, as she grew older, she changed her mind. “I realised that mental and emotional wellbeing are just as important as physical wellness in making people happy,” she said. So while everyone expected her to go to junior college after her O-levels, this alumnus of Greendale Secondary School chose to do Psychology Studies in TP as she wanted a “wider experience in her studies and learn to be more independent.” She was so sure of what she wanted to do that she secured her place in TP through the Direct Polytechnic Admissions scheme.
The second of three children, Mei Yi’s father passed away when she was in kindergarten, leaving her mother to care for them single-handedly. “My mother is my inspiration and her strength has made me stronger,” reveals Mei Yi who also says that her father’s death forced her to grow up faster.
At TP, Mei Yi was deeply committed to her academic studies and CCA involvements. Described by her lecturers as driven, mature and intelligent, the TP Scholar was also the captain of the TP Lifesaving team. Under her charge, the team maintained their dominance in the NUS Lifesaving Championship as well as the National Lifesaving Still Water Championship. “If you know what you want to do, don’t let anything stop you” – was her guiding principle. Challenges never pulled her down. Instead, her passion and mental strength kept her going.
Mei Yi graduates with an impressive cumulative grade point average of 3.77. Always diligent and consistent in her academic work, Mei Yi successfully completed a research project with the Centre for Child Study. For her internship, she was attached to the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) where she was involved with research related work. Her supervisor at DAS describes Mei Yi as a responsible person who takes the initiative and goes beyond what she is expected to do. Her final-year project, done in collaboration with DAS, looked at how the reading performance of dyslexic students could be improved. In fact, Mei Yi is so passionate about helping children with special needs that she continues to work with DAS.
Mei Yi has secured a place in the Arts & Social Sciences faculty of the National University of Singapore and is waiting to hear from the Nanyang Technological University about her application to do a double major in Psychology and Biological Sciences. She hopes to eventually become a neuropsychologist.
Mei Yi lives by a philosophy where with everything she undertakes, she must emerge a better person than she was before. With her attitude, aptitude and discipline, she will surely succeed!
Kho Kian Hao
School of Humanities & Social Sciences
Kho Kian Hao is the second child of a stall assistant father and a part-time factory operator mother. With his L1R4 O-levels score of 8 from Chung Cheng High School (Main), he decided to study Psychology Studies at TP – the only course he was truly interested in.
“I believe in bringing the best out of people,” Kian Hao explained. “I know that in future, wherever I want to go, psychology will serve me well.”
Kian Hao was awarded the TP Scholarship during his three years at TP, and underwent the Student Leadership Programme (SLP). He was given many opportunities to participate in overseas projects as well as leadership and talent development programmes. He ravenously seized them all!
A most memorable trip for him was one that took him out of his comfort zone. He took on the challenge of climbing Mount Rinjani in Lombok, Indonesia – an opportunity provided under the SLP.
“I vomited seven times from the altitude sickness on the way up but I never gave up. Three hours later than planned, I reached the summit first, and realised it’s truly about mind over body,” says Kian Hao.
Later, when he participated in a 10-day Outward Bound Taiwan Expedition in 2012, he used his experience in Lombok to motivate and help his team mates on the toughest portion of the expedition.
Kian Hao not only travelled as a TP Scholar – in fact, his first trip out of Singapore was part of the cross-disciplinary subject, Plugging into the China Connections, which he took. There, he was posted to an online tourism company in the Suzhou Industrial Park for three weeks.
More recently, Kian Hao volunteered for an overseas community project to Cambodia where they brought donations in kind and cash to 400 villagers. His involvement in this project despite completing all his graduation requirements testifies to his deep compassion for the less privileged.
For his internship, he was sent to Pathlight School for mid to high-functioning children with autism. Armed with a positive experience, he is now back to work in the school as a Student Support Assistant before enlisting for National Service.
Kian Hao chose PACEsetters as his CCA and served as vice-president for a year, gladly overseeing the administration, logistics, training and welfare departments. “PACEsetters presented many avenues for growth and personal development,” he says.
Kian Hao graduates with an excellent cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.98 and has been offered a Nanyang Scholarship to pursue the Nanyang Technological University’s psychology programme; and a place in the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences.
Thng Boon Seong
School of Engineering
The Thng family is living proof that a family that plays together, stays together! Thng Boon Seong comes from a family of badminton players. His father is a badminton coach, while he and his only sister are ex-national players. Joining in the fun, their homemaker mother also plays the sport.
At 11, Boon Seong made it to the national junior team, winning his first team bronze medal whilst studying in Gongshang Primary School. At 12, he bagged his first individual bronze. Boon Seong continued to play for the national team in secondary school. After his O level examinations, he put his education on hold for two years to chase his ambition in badminton. Thereafter, he enlisted into the National Service (NS), and there the sportsman had an epiphany.
“I realised that in order to survive in Singapore, a good education is a must,” said Boon Seong. “This was very evident while I was in NS, and I resolved to pursue my diploma.”
Boon Seong pulled out all the stops in studying towards his diploma in Electronics. With his passion for badminton still strong, he found the time to play for and captain TP’s badminton team, and trained with the SAFRA team. On top of that, he coached students on weekends! Boon Seong was instrumental in helping TP “three-peat” their wins in both the POL-ITE Badminton and IVP Badminton Championships, winning the latter championship title for a historic third time.
“I managed the training schedule when my coach couldn’t be there. I especially recall organising some demanding physical and mental exercises during a training stint in Thailand to help the team bond better and that paid off,” says a smiling Boon Seong.
For his efforts in badminton, Boon Seong received the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Scholarship. He was also conferred the highest individual CCA award in TP – the Sports Person of the Year in 2012.
With equal fervour, Boon Seong worked hard at his studies aiming to score high every semester. He graduates with an excellent cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.83.
His connections in the badminton circuit led to a job in ST Kinetics where Boon Seong is currently working as an associate engineer since October 2012. He has been offered a place to read Electronics & Electrical Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University.
Boon Seong credits his success in his studies to good time management in the polytechnic. He advises his juniors: “Choose the right course. Be consistent in your studies and stay focused on your goals.”
Divyashree d/o C. Balakrishnan
School of Applied Science
This track and field athlete knows only too well what it takes to win a race. Witty and articulate, Divya came to TP from the Sports School.
At the Sports School, her rigorous schedule saw her pack an intensive regime of training, school and homework into each day. Her training saw her practise hard for her specialities, the 400m and 800m events.
Even though her timetable was packed to the brim daily, Divya has very fond memories of her years in the Sports School. Her time there shaped her positive thinking and ability to manage any given situation. It also taught her to plan her time very well, a life lesson that would serve her well at TP where she chose to study Chemical Engineering.
Coming to TP via the Joint Polytechnic Special Admissions Exercise (JPSAE), Divya struggled to cope academically at first as she had not done physics in secondary school. She peppered her lecturers endlessly with questions and would wake up early to study physics online before class started. Her classmates chipped in to help after warming up to her bubbly personality, something she is thankful for. Through sheer effort and determination, Divya today graduates with an impressive cGPA of 3.54.
During her years in TP, Divya continued her passion on the track. She raced in major competitions such as the POL-ITE Track & Field meet and the IVP Track & Field Championship. In 2011, she beat a national runner to finish first in the 400m individual event in the IVP Track & Field Championship.
Beyond sports and academics, Divya is also a passionate environmentalist - she has been known to lug home plastic bottles she collects from friends to the recycle bins at her home. She is also campaigning for a weekly Earth Hour in her household!
She attributes her training in track and field to "making me sharper in the classroom and preparing me to be ready for anything in life". To her, studying "is like competitive training - I analyse strengths and weaknesses in everything and become this super competitive being, all out to win!"
Divya hopes to pursue her athletic career after graduation, and will be working with TP's athletics coach to further her track and field goals. In the immediate future, she is aiming to further her education at a local university.
Mitchelle Elaine Jauw Shian Fern
School of Engineering
Mitchelle Jauw hails from Sabah, Malaysia and is the elder of two daughters of a clerk and a housewife.
On a fateful day in 2005, Mitchelle's secondary school held an inter-class bowling tournament and her team won the bronze medal. That day marked the start of her bowling career. She was soon talent-spotted and became a member of the Sabah state team!
Convinced that Singapore is where she wanted to pursue her tertiary education, she was happy to receive the Kuok Foundation Berhad Educational Assistance Award given to needy Malaysian students studying in Singapore. On her first day in TP, Mitchelle's biggest shock was finding out that she was the only girl in her Mechatronics class!
Mitchelle graduates with 3 distinctions, 19 A's, 6 B's and a cGPA of 3.83 while attaining great successes in bowling. As vice-captain of TP's 10-Pin Women's Bowling team, Mitchelle led her team to win many medals at international, national and polytechnic-level competitions. She also participated in TP events like the International Cultural Nite, TP Career Fair, CCA Recruitment Drive, 10-Pin Bowling Trails, TP Open House and Engineering Project Show.
"The thing I love most about bowling is the thrill and adrenaline rush I feel during competitions. Bowling is more a mental game than a physical one. I love the challenge of having to focus on every throw regardless of how distracting the surrounding is. Most of all, I love the times when I have to be determined enough to give my best and complete a game even though my fingers are bleeding and my arms are sore", says this young lady who has been described as highly motivated, conscientious, determined and intelligent.
Academically, Mitchelle was also exemplary. For her Major Project which won a commendation award, her team built a fuel-cell-operated car called the Shell Eco Marathon which could achieve lower fuel consumption with longer distance travelled.
"The people I really owe my success to are my parents. I don't come from a rich family but they've always made me rich with knowledge, care and love. They never made me give up my dreams and no matter how hard the situation gets, they always make sure my sister and I have food to eat and a bed to rest on, even if it means they have work longer hours or sacrifice more than they had", she says.
Since November, Mitchelle has been working with Seiko Instruments Singapore Pte Ltd as an engineering officer. The latest feather in her cap is that she has been offered a place to do Computer Engineering at NUS.