It was a rocky start for Amanda, who mixed with bad company at a young age. She had low self-esteem and was a defiant student in secondary school. However, Amanda made a turnaround after a revelation and became the national top ‘N’ Level student. Due to her weight issues, she pursued the Diploma in Nutrition, Health & Wellness in SP and emerged as one of the 2015 recipients of the Toh Chin Chye Gold Medal – an accolade that comes with graduating at the top of her cohort.
Today, she is an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS)’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. The thought of becoming a doctor never crossed her mind when she was younger. It was only at SP where her interest in topics such as cell biology and immunology grew. “I realised I could help people beyond managing their diet and food, so I thought of venturing into medicine,” she said.
In her time at SP, Amanda also formed the SP Sign Language Club in her freshman year. “Some friends tried to discourage me from doing so as they thought that as a freshie, I couldn’t do much,” she said. Yet, with the school’s support, the club has slowly expanded from around ten members at the start to over a hundred members today. She went on to start SIGNapse, a sign language club in NUS that teaches members how to communicate with the deaf in a healthcare setting.
From the day he stepped into SP, Pavan made sure he would not let any learning opportunity slip by. Not even when dire situations arose. After his ‘O’ Level examinations, he visited SP Open House and left with the decision that “This is the place for me!”. He chose the Common Engineering Programme and found his niche in the Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering a few months later.
Pavan initially thought that he may be disadvantaged because he is dyslexic. To his amazement, he found that his condition actually helped in his course because he could visualise better. Therefore, modules that involve AutoCAD or 3D drawings were easy for him. His excellent performance in Year 1 won him the SP Engineering Scholarship.
Pavan’s interest in engineering research led him to intern with SP Nano Fabrication Lab where he learned about technological process such as photolithography. He also participated in the Polytechnic Student Research Programme where he and his team mate worked with A*STAR researchers to develop an award-winning biochip that could simplify and speed up the breaking down of blood cells to diagnose viruses.
Pavan will pursue a degree in electrical engineering at the National University of Singapore and has been awarded the NUS Merit Scholarship. In ten years’ time, he hopes to own a technological start-up that focuses on robotics, sustainable energy or aerospace. He also hopes to spend some time researching how to help children with special needs learn.