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This article was contributed by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).
Derrick Neo Zhan Ming
Higher Nitec in IT Systems & Networks College @ ITE College East
Recipient of Lee Kuan Yew Model Student Award 2020
Giving Back to the Community
Just one point shy of qualifying for the Polytechnic Foundation Programme left Derrick feeling disappointed after his N-Levels.
However, he did not stay down for long. Instead, he decided to give his best shot at ITE and distinguished himself as an all-round achiever.
Derrick strongly believes in giving back to the community, as he credits his own success to the support of people around him. Despite his packed schedule, he participated in numerous community service projects. These included a trip to Thailand to construct a water filtration system for a rural school.
Outside of ITE, he volunteered at a soup kitchen to pack food for the needy, and also taught art at a special needs school.
From the Heart
Derrick shared: "I took part in many college and community events because I saw it as a way to make a positive impact to the community.
"My most memorable experience was the overseas community service trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand.
"Over there, we helped to build a water filtration system so that the locals can have access to fresh water.
"It felt very rewarding to know I have made a difference to their lives.
"My journey in ITE taught me that good leaders have the ability to influence, inspire and create an impact on others regardless of their rank or title.
"I aspire to be such a leader."
Life after ITE
Derrick is pursuing Nanyang Polytechnic’s Common Infocomm Technology (ICT) Programme, where he can select an ICT-related diploma to specialise in after completing the first year. He aspires to build a career in the infocomm industry, particularly in the field of cybersecurity.
Derrick completed the 21-day Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) Classic Challenge Course and achieved the OBS Leadership and Service Award in 2018. As part of this programme, he implemented a project to help assimilate migrant workers into local society.
Derrick and his team raised over $14,000 for charity by organising a movie gala, which won them the Citi-YMCA Youth for Causes Merit Award 2019.
For his outstanding service contributions, he received the ITE Service Star Gold Award in 2018 and Platinum Award in 2019.