SINGAPORE - To 16-year-old Abigail Wee, success is being able to take care of a family.
So when the third-year NorthLight School student was asked to name people who she thought were successful, without any hesitation, she brought up her parents.
"They are successful because they wake up every morning to go to work so they can support my sisters and me," said Abigail, the daughter of a real estate agent and furniture-shop owner.
She and about 30 other third- year students from her school who took part in an Our Singapore Conversation session yesterday spoke excitedly about what success meant to them.
Several named their teachers, while others counted becoming a chef as being successful.
The session, which was held at the school in Dunman Road, was jointly organised by NorthLight - which caters to those who failed their PSLE - and four junior college students, who have been volunteering there.
NorthLight principal Martin Tan said the session was also meant to get the students talking about how they can contribute to society and how society can help them. He added that the views will be passed on to the Our Singapore Conversation committee.
"They may not be as academically inclined, but they have hearts as good as any other student in Singapore," said Mr Tan.
The four junior college students, who are debaters, have spent the last eight weeks conducting publicspeaking workshops at the school and were the ones who initiated the session.
"We realised that many of them have very good views," said Chua Jun Yan, 18, a JC 2 student from Raffles Institution. "But for these students, their views may go unheard at times."
Apart from English, mathematics and IT skills, students at NorthLight also pick up vocational skills in areas such as hospitality and electrical servicing.
Students suggested that some of these skills could also be taught at primary school.
Mohammad Afiq, 14, found it interesting to think about what success means. "My grandparents often say I have 'no hope', but I think I can be a successful cook and cook for the needy in future."
Mohammad Shahrul, 15, agreed, but believes attaining success would be easier for many of them if society were more inclusive.
He said that he recently applied to 15 fast food outlets for a part-time job, but was told that they were not hiring.
He said: "But I think it's because I'm from NorthLight, so I'm worried about getting a job in future." - The Straits Times
NLS graduates (2009/2010) that progressed to ITE NItec courses have graduated successfully. They stood tall among the 11,807 ITE graduands. Of which 626 ITE graduands have been awarded with Cerificate of Merit (COM) and among them 174 received the Course Medals for their outstanding performances. We are proud to have 4 NLS graduates among them and hope this will further encourage and spur the NLS students to achieve their goals.
Lee Chuan Jie - COM & Silver Medal for Nitec in Service Skills Retail
Murphy Yong - COM & Bronze Medal for Nitec in Facility Technology
Aysiq Ahmad - COM for Nitec in Service Skills Retail
Joel Lam - COM for Nitec in Service Skills Retail