When he failed the PSLE in 2011, his mother insisted he retake the exam the next year.

When he failed again, he decided to go to NorthLight School instead of sittingthe exam a third time. It turned out to be one of the best decisions Mohd Azlan Abdullah Lim, 17, ever made.

His retail services teacher, Ms Della Chu, told The New Paper that Azlan was a quiet and shy boy at first.

Ms Chu, who has taught at NorthLight for eight years, said: “He lacked confidence and needed reassurance he was doing things right.

“But he’s also a keen learner. In just six months, he became more confident and vocal.”

Azlan, who is studying retail services in ITE, told TNP about an incident at an overnight school camp in his second year.

ANXIETY

A teacher helped him overcome his separation anxiety by staying up with him all night.

Azlan told TNP: “The teachers really helped ease me into independence.”

Mohd Azlan Abdullah Lim, 17,The support Azlan received from the teachers at NorthLight helped him become an exceptional student.

He graduated last year and received the Lee Hsien Loong Award for Special Achievement, an award for exemplary students from NorthLight and Assumption Pathway School, this year.

Even his family could see the change NorthLight brought.

His sister, Madam Zalifah Ibrahim, 35, said: “We’re thankful to the school for taking the steps that helped Azlan blossom into a wonderful young man.”