Take 5 – 11 July 2016 by Mr Yohan
Good morning Mdm Tan, Mr Lee, Colleagues and Gessians. It is my pleasure to deliver this morning’s Take 5.
This week we are privileged to host our partner school from Thailand’s Suankularb Wittayalai School for STEP Camp 2016. STEP stands for Singapore Thailand Enhanced Partnership, an intergovernmental effort to boost bilateral cooperation between Singapore and Thailand.
10 of our students (from Sec 1 to Sec 4s) together with their partners from Suankularb are taking part in 4 day 3 night camp starting from yesterday at River Valley High School.
They will join us during morning assembly on Thursday. Please welcome them with your smiles and friendly greetings when you see them in school from Thursday onwards.
This morning I am also going to speak on one of our school’s core values: RESILIENCE.
Earlier this year, an articles was written on the Straits Times and The New Paper on one of our ex-Gessians who graduated in 2013. His name is Richmond Tan.
Richmond truly showed the courage not just to accept life realities but to fight the adversities stacked against him.
As toddlers, Richmond and his brother Ryan watched their mother leave their family. When he became a teenager, he watched his father struggle with gambling addiction.
Eventually, the family had to give up their four-room flat in Sembawang due to financial difficulties.
They spent some time being homeless before finding lodging in another flat. Richmond shared that he sometimes had to sleep in void decks or at Changi Airport.
Richmond also tried to help his father quit gambling by taking him to a rehabilitation centre for gambling addicts. Here we learn that he did not let himself be the victim of his circumstances.
His academic results in secondary school were actually not good enough to get him into Pioneer JC. In fact, he failed his appeal two times.
A volunteer (that he met at the centre of rehabilitation for his dad’s gambling habit) helped him appeal for the third time to the principal of PJC, Mrs. Tan-Kek Lee Yong.
Mrs. Tan said “(The volunteer) told me this boy’s history. I was moved by his account of what Richmond has done. I realised I was not dealing with any ordinary student, but one who showed perseverance,”
Mrs Tan went on to tell Richmond that she was willing to show understanding for his circumstances as long as Richmond put in the effort.
Two years of hard work, not only by Richmond, but also by his teachers finally showed some heartening results.
Richmond managed to score As for his Maths, Geography, and Project Work and Bs for Economics, China Studies in English, and General Paper. He was also awarded PJC’s most improved student.
Just like Richmond, each one of us has our own set of adversities to fight. What are your adversities? What do you do to overcome those adversities?
May Richmond’s life story inspire you to continue to always know the good, desire the good and do the good.
With that, I end my Take 5. Have a blessed week ahead.