• Scout Association of Hong Kong – Scout of the Year 2018
  • Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups – Sir Ti Liang Yang English Language Ambassador 2018-19
  • Lions Clubs International – Hong Kong & Macao, China – 18th Lions International Youth Exchange Scholarship Essay Competition – Champion
  • Hong Kong Schools Debating and Public Speaking Community – Best Speaker Award in 12th Junior Debating Tournament
  • South Island School – Head Boy (2019-20)

Anyone can become outstanding, but what makes people “outstanding” varies greatly. For me, these are the people that are willing to take a leap of faith in order to gain much more.

I only had this realization when I was in Year 10. Back then, computer games had become a part of my life that I could not go a day without. It was only when things reached a boiling point that I realized things needed to be changed. Those who are not willing to abandon anything cannot change anything, whether it is your fear, hesitance, or just an attachment to your current life. It was only through a dogged self-persistence I finally managed to make a difference.

When we initially take that leap of faith to try something new, it always seems daunting and scary, because we are wired to have a fear of the unknown. But I believe being willing to immerse yourself in new opportunities to meet new people, and learn new ideas is what allows anyone with an open mind and an open heart to become outstanding. It is not just about grades or the number of extracurricular activities you have got – it is your capacity to open yourself up.

I remember how hard it was to take that first step as I entered my first debate tournament, but my supportive friends and family encouraged me. It did not matter that my speeches did not make sense, or that my legs shook like spaghetti. The new friends I made along the way were worth more than any prize because they did not just commemorate my first step – they also showed me a whole new world that I am still exploring today, and which I look forward to exploring even further in the future.

From my experience, the best thing about joining tournaments, forums, councils and all these other opportunities that it is a package deal: You pay nothing (well, most of the time) but you get the chance to understand more, interact more, lead more, something that cannot be taught in a classroom.

When we are willing to open ourselves up, we become so much more and in the process, we can meet other people who have also begun this transformation. It is really easy to look at someone and think “Wow.” But it is a lot more important to understand the hard choices they made and appreciate their painstaking effort in order to get to where they are today.

For me, this award means a lot. It represents that faithful choice I made to give up tedium and mundanity for possibility and opportunity five years ago – the chance to be someone more. It showed me how much I could do once I decided to take that faithful leap. I have never looked back.