•  Diocesan Boys’ School Robotics Team Captain — 2017-2018
  •  Children’s Medical Foundation Youth Ambassadors Society Diocesan Boys’ School Chapter Founding President — 2017-2018
  • TEDxYouth@HongKong Speaker — 2016-2017
  • Hong Kong Physics Olympiad, First Honour — 2016-2017
  • Princeton University Physics Competition, Relativistic Electrodynamics Silver Medal — 2016-2017

As a junior secondary student, I stumbled upon a book about a man whose biography stunned me as a typical confused teenage high-achiever, clueless about what I was to do with life. He was a man from South Africa who went against the odds to pursue his aspiration of saving humanity; A man of few words, of a withdrawn personality, who went on to become the leader of multiple R&D companies that continue to impress the world with outlandish achievements.

Reading his biography was a turning point of my life. It was then that I realised how the activities I had been doing could all come together for me to delve into the field of technology. Musk made me seriously think about life in the long term. Since then, I have been actively pursuing my goal by learning and doing all I can that are related to science and engineering: robotics, physics, mathematics and coding. From the physics and coding Olympiads, I have learnt important skills and concepts that can apply in robotics, and hopefully in the future, engineering. A dream of mine is to work on space exploration and hopefully help with expanding our living habitat — only hard work can take me there.

Some would say that I am an agonisingly boring person as I am not one for movies and games, but I find entertainment and satisfaction in my fields of passion. Not many things feel better than when you set up a differential equation that you can actually solve! Feynman was right, you know. When I am tinkering with and programming robots, I also tend not to get sleepy, which does happen when I am studying… Jokes apart, this is why I can tell that this is what I want to do for life.

I am literally an “ABC” — American-born Chinese (but Cantonese is my preferred language in daily life anyway, amusingly to some). This implies that, as well as being called “鬼佬” all day long, I have also been exposed to contrasting cultures, both of which I have taken inspiration from: The academic rigour of the Chinese; the freedom and individualism of the West — and these are central to the makeup of my character. I have my dream and the motivation to pursue it. To me, having the dream is just as important as, if not more important than, maintaining academic achievements. Keeping up with academic work is but a responsibility, and one has to go further than that to be outstanding.

Since I can remember, I have been an active critic of how society, especially in Hong Kong, provides plenty of academic pressure but lacks inspiration for teenagers; it frustrates me every time I see my friends work hard at studying for public examinations but being unable to speak of their dreams, and I cannot tell whether they actually do not know, are afraid of fighting the social norm of chasing money, or are simply too hesitant to share what they want. It might sound cliché, but it is true: when we die we are definitely not going to say, “Aw, I regret not making more money.”

I am honoured to be a past speaker at the TEDxYouth@HongKong talk, where I shared my experience of building my school’s robotics team with my peers, as well as the under-appreciation of engineers’ contributions especially in Hong Kong. I still remember. However, the vital message of the speech was neither about robots nor engineers; I wished to encourage fellow youths in attendance to look at the greater picture of what they actually can and want to do with their life.

Being outstanding entails caring about society and not just one’s own benefits. Serving is unavoidable if one were to feel truly satisfied and that is why I am also dedicated to, aside from my personal interests, regularly contributing to children in our world, whom I feel most responsible towards. Hopefully I have made and will make differences, significant or trivial, in their lives by working as a teacher assistant and in the Children’s Medical Foundation Youth Ambassador Society.