Aspiring youths of today, influential leaders of tomorrow
by Parveen Maghera
Six outstanding individuals from diverse backgrounds received the honourable Singapore Youth Award (SYA) by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at the Istana on Sunday.Winners include Koh Hui Ling, 33, arts and drama teacher, Muhammad Riduan Bin Zalani (unable to attend ceremony), 27, drummer and percussionist, Martin Tan Beng Chong, 35, co-founder of Halogen Foundation, Dr. Chan Shuping Juliana Maria, 29, scientist and researcher, Jean Ng Joo Lin, 34, national netball player, and Laurentia Yen-Yi Tan, 33, award-winning paralympian.
Two past SYA recipients, Associate Professor Ong Soh Khim, 43, and The Boys’ Brigade Share-a-Gift also received the Medal of Commendation (MOC) which is awarded to past SYA recipients for their phenomenal successes and contributions to the community for at least five years after their award.
Recognised as the nation’s highest youth accolade, the SYA is presented to both individuals and teams who have ‘Soared Above’ and brought about highly positive changes to the community. These awardees have thus exemplified SYA’s spirit in their own respective fields by successfully pursuing their passions, yet, going an extra mile to selflessly contribute back to the society.
Awardees also interacted with 60 student leaders where they shared their experiences, challenges, aspirations and motivations, especially in the realm of the community.
Speaking at the event, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong commended the evolving scene of youths today.
“Young people are pursuing their passions [and] achieving success not only for themselves but [for] the community by reaching out and impacting others in their lives,” Mr Wong said.
Awardee Mr Tan expressed the need for youths to break away from their comfort zone and be “part of a larger framework and a larger society”.
As Mr Tan puts in, “Don’t wait to do good because tomorrow never comes. You just have to do good today.”