National Young Leaders Day

Saturday, August 31, 2013

"Do you think that Shermaine would make a good nominee for this award?"

That was the question Ms Cheong asked Jing En and myself over email in April this year. "She is the perfect candidate", we said and that's still something I still believe in - perhaps even more strongly - four months later. What exactly is this award? It's the National Young Leader Award, an award created by Halogen Foundation that aims to recognise young leaders ranging from 15-19 years old who are involved, engaged and have conviction in the things that they do. 

Shermaine is one of the five finalists in the running to get this award and to me, she's someone who truly deserves it. I have known her for 3 years, ever since we met in Waddle House Comm 2011 but we got much closer when we became classmates last year and I have been spending a lot of my time this year with her as well. There is truly something special about her, something incredibly inspiring and I love her so much. She's a House Commer I can trust wholeheartedly - I never ever need to chase her for anything, she's a friend I can always rely on and she's someone who does things not ever for the credit but for the positive impact it gives to people. Even when nominated for something as major as this, she remains so humble, inspiring the people around her in the quietest and littlest of ways. 

Do pop by over to the Halogen website to watch the leadership stories of the other four finalists. I believe they have also touched many hearts around them and they are all people I would definitely learn from. Remember to vote for the leadership story that resonates the most with you. As Shermaine's friend, I urge you to consider voting for her because it'll mean so much for her and for myself as well :-)

This award is part of the National Young Leaders' Day and a few of us went to attend the event on Thursday (29 August) after school - actually we left school early - in support of Shermaine as well as to listen to some inspiring speeches. It was held at the Kallang Theatre! :-) It was my first time there and it was a rather grand place, highly different from what I was expecting. 

Swan, Phionna, Wang You, Sarah and myself with Shermaine! :-) 

Basically during the event, they screened the videos of the 5 finalists, had four speakers (Eddie Sung - an award winning photographer, Zhang Yingjun - co-founder of The Chain Reaction Project, Martin Tan - co founder of Halogen Foundation itself and Budi Soehardi - founder of Roaslin Orphanage) give really inspiring speeches which I thoroughly enjoyed and had the finalists of the award share a bit about themselves. Though not every single speech given applied to me, they all had wonderful stories and I particularly liked Mr Martin Tan's sharing. Even though I've heard him speak about leadership twice previously, this speech wasn't one where he preached to us but rather more of a sharing of his life, which resonated in me. 

For such a huge event, I personally found that the atmosphere in the theatre was a tad bit weird - it felt like I was in a rock concert of sorts because they played really hip music throughout the entire event and even as the welcoming song for the Guest of Honour, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat. Everyone around me were screaming their heads off but somehow I liked it - it felt like it was truly an event meant for young people. 

During the break! :-) 

The 406 kids (missing Wang, who left halfway for tuition) with Mr Faizal, the best form teacher ever! Also, this is such a weird photo because we were all tiptoeing (including Mr Faizal) except Sarah. 

It was quite a funny day because I was somehow very tickled by almost everything everyone was saying (maybe I'm like that everyday) and kept laughing and I think my form teacher was quite surprised to see me this way and told the class over Whatsapp later that night that I couldn't take Twiggies  (it's a long story HAHAHA) At least he only found out that I was so crazy near the end of the school year (only one more day of lessons left oh my) because I'm pretty sure he would've teased/ laughed at me a lot if he were to knew I had such a personality.  

To end off, I'm so incredibly proud of Shermaine and grateful for that day because I was truly very inspired and I had a lot of fun hanging out with the Boings (minus Priya)! :-) 

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