From school dropout to Director's List: ITE student achieves excellence through service learning

This article was contributed by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

'Aqilah Insyirah Bte Abdul R
Nitec in Mechanical Technology College @ ITE College East
Recipient of Lee Kuan Yew Model Student Award 2020

Graduating from the School of Hard Knocks

'Aqilah enrolled in the Nitec in Automotive Technology course in 2014, but dropped out due to lack of interest and poor attendance. To support herself, she worked in the Food & Beverage line for two years.

In this period, she reflected on her purpose in life. Aspiring to better support her parents through a good education and be a role model for her siblings, she re-enrolled in ITE in 2018.

While she was determined to succeed this time, she still had little confidence in doing well for her studies. With her lecturers’ support, 'Aqilah gained self-belief and learned to seize opportunities to achieve her potential.

Besides actively participating in community and overseas exchange programmes, she mentored her peers and served as Vice-President of the Robotics Club.

From the Heart

"In ITE, I discovered my love for service learning, especially when accompanied by friends," said 'Aqilah.

"I joined the ELEVATE programme by Community Chest, which allows me to use my skills to serve the community. It was a very enriching experience.

"Through the programme, we serviced wheelchairs and the elderly appreciated our companionship.

"I hope to continue engaging myself in similar activities, and use my engineering skills to give back to society."

Life after ITE

'Aqilah aspires to build a career in engineering and is pursuing the Common Engineering Programme at Temasek Polytechnic, where she can select an engineering-related diploma to specialise in after completing the first year.

Top Achievements

  • Developing a system that alerts the elderly to remove keys from the lock after use, ‘Aqilah led her team to clinch the Merit Award (Technology Category) at the 7th National Assistive & Rehabilitation Technologies Student Innovation Challenge.

  • She was selected for the Student Social Media Team that supported publicity of the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council (VTC)-ITE International Student Seminar 2019.

  • For her dedicated service contributions, she won the ITE Service Star Gold Award in 2019.

  • Excelling academically, ‘Aqilah achieved a GPA score of 4.0.

  • She was in the Director’s List for all terms from 2018 to 2019.

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