The Class of 2020 Take Flight – Vol 1

The Class of 2020
Take Flight

VOLUME ONE

The Class of 2020 demonstrated how when hearts unite and minds ignite, our dreams can take flight. They made the most of college life amidst an unusual two years for people all over the world. In this first volume, Phaedra, Gaston, Sherman and Leslie share their tips for living a full life in JC, reflecting on how they pursued their passions even as they strove for academic excellence.

PHOTOS BY ANNABELLE TAY AND SEAN KOH

Phaedra Tan

ALUMNA OF CHIJ ST NICHOLAS GIRLS' SCHOOL

Phaedra Tan (19-E1) was an all-rounded student who displayed a spirit of excellence in her studies, and made valuable contributions to the college community. She pursued her interest in entrepreneurship through her participation Programme Magnitude. She was also a recipient of the MOE Bicultural Studies Programme (BSP) Scholarship and was elected to the BSP Committee where she organised programmes to promote biculturalism in the Eunoia community. An outstanding leader, Phaedra was a member of the Orientation Executive Committee and a well-respected Class Chairperson. She was thus a deserving recipient of the MOE Edusave Character Award and also earned a place on the Dean's List (Character & Service). The indelible mark she left on her peers was evident when she was selected as the Cohort Representative at Commendation Day 2020. Her legacy of service continues as the Cohort Representative in EJC Alumni, as she keeps her peers in touch with the Eunoia community in the years to come.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RESULTS? WHAT HELPED YOU ACHIEVE THESE RESULTS?

I think my results are a culmination of the education I have received thus far, not only from my teachers but also from my family and friends who have supported me through this rigorous journey. I think all alumni would remember our study break before A-Levels where most of our consolidation took place — that period of time was truly vital to achieving my results as it was when I was able to identify the remaining gaps and seek help to resolve them. Of course, our wonderful teachers and supportive friends were always so ready and willing to help.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY IN EUNOIA AND WHAT MADE IT MEANINGFUL?

My two years here were years of self-discovery as I learned more about myself as I went through the rigorous curriculum, built friendships, and participated in co-curricular activities. These experiences really helped me build my character, and identify what is truly valuable to me. I firmly believe that meaning is created by your own perception and the people who help you through a journey. The support from my friends and teachers helped me frame challenges as opportunities for growth made these two years truly meaningful.

WHAT ADVICE OR ENCOURAGEMENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS?

I would like to encourage my juniors to work with the end in mind. Always remember that the only way is up as long as you keep striving, asking for help, and acting on the advice you receive. The process is always tough but having a clear direction and goal and visualising yourself achieving those dreams is key to staying afloat. It doesn’t matter where you are now — only how much you’re willing to work to reach what you want. All the best!

Gaston Liew

ALUMNUS OF YISHUN TOWN SECONDARY SCHOOL

Gaston Liew (19-A2) was part of the Music Elective Programme and a section leader in the college Choir. An outstanding singer and a well-regarded leader, he contributed to the Choir achieving its first Distinction Award at the Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation. Gaston also lent his talents to many other college events, performing at Euphoria, the annual year-end celebration for the JC1 cohort, as well as at Euphony opus 2 and 3, the annual concert put up by the college’s Music students. He organised a fund-raising busking concert, titled “Busking Tape”, with his classmates to raise money for the new college campus. Even as he pursued his passion for music, Gaston was a consistent and diligent student who earned the MOE Edusave Good Progress Award. Amidst all of this, he led his juniors as an Orientation Group Leader in the 2020 Orientation programme.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RESULTS? WHAT HELPED YOU ACHIEVE THESE RESULTS?

I am very satisfied with my results. When I first entered Eunoia, I was worried that as a DSA student, I might not be able to keep up with my peers academically. So, I am very proud of what I have achieved and how far I have come. My teachers really helped me along the way in guiding me and going the extra mile to give me the support that I need, being always willing to help when I approached them! My friends also constantly gave me the boost of encouragement that I needed when I am down and gave me the drive to work till the end. My family’s constant love and care through my whole JC journey made such a difference too.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY IN EUNOIA AND WHAT MADE IT MEANINGFUL?

It was a blessing. I never intended to go the JC route at the start of my Sec 4 year but my decision to choose EJC has been nothing short of amazing. The community, culture, and heart of Eunoia have been such defining factors in shaping my time in Eunoia, giving me the courage to really step out of my comfort zone to serve and give back to the school. I always felt at home even though I was new to the people around me when I first joined the college.

WHAT ADVICE OR ENCOURAGEMENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR JUNIORS?

I would like to encourage my juniors to never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to give back to the school - EJC is the best place to really let your talents and gifts shine! Make the most out of your two-year journey and give yourself the most holistic education you can have!

Sherman Goh

ALUMNUS OF COMMONWEALTH SECONDARY SCHOOL

Sherman Goh (19-U4) was passionate about Science and excelled at it. A recipient of the A*STAR JC Scholarship, he embarked on a research project with A*STAR in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Sherman also won a bronze award in the Singapore Chemistry Olympiad where he achieved a bronze award and pursued H3 Chemistry. His love for Chemistry was contagious, and he was an outstanding ambassador for the subject at the 2020 Open House. His willingness to contribute to the college, to assist his peers, and his enthusiasm for his CCA, Softball, culminated in a rich experience in EJC.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RESULTS? WHAT HELPED YOU ACHIEVE THESE RESULTS?

I feel really happy with my results and I would say that it is surprisingly better than I had expected. It was definitely the continuous support from my teachers and friends that I’ve made in EJC that really motivated me to push myself harder. I am grateful for their support because they are the ones who enabled me to attain the results which I am happy to take home today.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY IN EUNOIA AND WHAT MADE IT MEANINGFUL?

I would say that my two years in EJC have been quite meaningful. Initially, I had expected life in college to be mundane, where all I can do is study, but EJC proved me wrong. EJC gave me opportunities to develop myself as a person and allowed me to make amazing friends that supported and cared for me in every way possible. Besides this, my teachers always went the extra mile to ensure our well-being, and for that, I am extremely grateful.

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACED? HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO OVERCOME THEM?

To my juniors, I encourage all of you to start your preparation early and plan ahead. Do also try to approach your teachers to clarify whenever in doubt and, last but not least, all the best in your preparation for the A-Levels!

Leslie Yip

ALUMNUS OF CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL

Leslie Yip (19-I4) was the consummate all-rounder; he was an excellent student, a talented musician, an inquisitive scientist, and a highly regarded leader. He consistently earned a place on the Dean’s List (Academic), even as he fully embraced opportunities outside the classroom. He was President of the EJC Symphonic Band, a bass guitarist in the Rock Band, and a member of Makerspace. Leslie seized opportunities to pursue his passions outside the college as well, taking part in the Singapore Young Physicists’ Tournament 2019, where his team won the Bronze Award and he was also part of a team that emerged first at the SUTD Electric Vehicle Design Challenge 2019. He used his talents to serve others as well, playing the bass guitar in the recording of a music video for an original song, Everyday Heroes, which aimed to raise awareness about and show gratitude for the contributions of those leading the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The wide range of co-curricular activities he excelled in and his outstanding leadership of the college Band and his civics group made Leslie a truly worthy recipient of the Singapore Armed Forces Young Leader Award, given to students who demonstrate academic and co-curricular excellence.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RESULTS? WHAT HELPED YOU ACHIEVE THESE RESULTS?

I feel a great sense of relief to know that my hard work over the past two years has paid off. My friends and family really supported me through this journey; they gave me constant motivation and encouragement to keep going. It was definitely time management that helped me in this journey, because it allowed me to study effectively, ensuring that I had adequate time to rest and recover.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY IN EUNOIA AND WHAT MADE IT MEANINGFUL?

I would describe these two years as enriching and fulfilling. My friends have made this journey incredibly enjoyable and rewarding. Pioneering the development of the school rock band will always be one of my highlights as I got to establish a legacy through music-making. I got to pursue my passion thanks to the support and empowerment from the school, and the teachers who always supported and guided me to grow and further develop myself.

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACED? HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO OVERCOME THEM?

Do not be afraid to try new things. Chase your interest and experiment to discover your passion. In the face of adversity, persevere. Allow yourself to feel disappointed when you do not perform up to your expectations, but pick yourself up after that and keep going because that is what is important. Also, take adequate breaks from time to time so that you do not burn out. Give yourself time to rest so you do not lose momentum, and definitely rely on those around you to press on. Keep your friends close and support each other because they will see you through the toughest of times.