• SimplyShare – Founder and Executive Director (2020-2021)
  • The 16th Biliteracy & Trilingualism Composition and Speech Competition – Champion & English Outstanding Composition Award (2020)
  • Junior Achievement Company Programme – Chief Executive Officer, Team Finalist, Most Valuable Player and CP Achiever (Top 2 MVP) (2020-2021)
  • Wharton Global High School Investment Competition – Regional Finalist (2020-2021)
  • St. Paul’s Co-educational College Girls’ Basketball Team – Captain (2021-2022)

I like to see people smile.

As the firstborn, I was once the princess of the family – until the summer of 2017, when I visited kids in ragged shirts and bare feet, lying on the filthy market ground in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I started to reflect on my life… Despite hardships, the children never failed to put a genuine smile on their faces. Happiness seemed so simple to them. Year after year, I returned to Cambodia, to play games, wash their hair, teach them English, and to be surrounded in their contagious laughter once again.

When COVID-19 cancelled our plans to visit Cambodia, I founded SimplyShare, a student-led organization to encourage youth volunteering for impoverished communities. From sweating profusely on my first call with Salvation Army, to leading a team of 30 passionate students in weekly meetings now, I daresay it was a roller coaster journey. Yet the smiles I have seen have brought me genuine happiness, from the underprivileged children I serve, to the student volunteers, who have experienced the joy of volunteering. Seeing tears roll down my friends’ cheeks after our visit to sub-divided flats in Sham Shui Po, my heart fluttered, for I have made a tiny dent in this deeply rooted issue.

I like to smile, even though it may be difficult at times.

I stumbled upon basketball back in primary school but found myself being the benchwarmer at every competition. While my teammates were roaming on the court, I kept track of scores and refilled their water bottles. Nevertheless, I was determined to train hard to earn myself a spot on the starters list. Eventually, I found my position on the team, and my love for basketball has only grown stronger ever since.

I am still no MVP but my parents would always come to watch my matches, teaching me the importance of doing my very best despite shortcomings. They would support me for my determination, instead of my successes.

Of course, “outstanding” is a big word to swallow. It is being passionate towards something – anything – and giving it your all even if you are not the best at it; it is believing in your vision and persevering through the hardships; it is giving back to the society with what you have. It is just the beginning. In the future, let us all live out our uniquely “outstanding” lives.

With that said, I smile again.