Growing up with dyslexia isn’t a walk in the park, but Patrick Siah has never been one to let his learning disability hinder his academic progress. Instead, he learned to embrace his differences and turned it into a thriving career.
A proud graduate of Singapore Polytechnic (SP), the Diploma in Architecture alumnus focused on his heightened visual abilities and excelled in his 3D design classes – making him one of the star students in the cohort. Upon graduating, Patrick did his Degree and Master’s at the University of Melbourne before joining a multinational design practice back home. After which, he ventured out and founded his own architectural firm, W5A. And yes, he named it after SP’s architecture block because of “all the good memories that it holds” for him!
Not forgetting his roots, Patrick has nothing but gratitude towards his alma mater for nurturing him into the person he is today. “It was not an easy journey. I am most thankful for the exposure and project experiences that SP has given me. The well-rounded education honed my technical and design skills that put me ahead of my peers during my overseas study,” he shares.
Now a successful boss and champion in his field, Patrick seeks to continue providing top-notch services and great value for his clients. Moving forward, he hopes to design spaces that can better society and benefit people with dyslexia.
Interested in finding out more about the Diploma in Architecture at Singapore Polytechnic? Head down to the SP Open House from 10 to 12 January 2019 (10am to 6pm) to discover your options!
At the age of 17 and under, these Gen-Z trailblazers are already making their mark in the startup world – one idea at a time.
In today’s tech-savvy generation, there’s a rising crop of bright, innovative minds who are taking an avid interest in honing their business skills – all they need is a push in the right direction. That’s where Young Founders Summit comes into play.
Organised by Singapore-based edutech startup Smarter Me, it’s touted as a global entrepreneurship programme that provides young business-minded individuals an accelerated platform for their ideas to come to life. They share a common goal in mind: to help create a better world through the use of technology. Over 100 submissions were received from six countries in Asia, and the top three entries will receive a direct pass to the global leg of Young Founders Summit 2019 which will take place in Los Angeles come April.
What’s even more impressive is that none of these participants are older than 17, yet they able to come up with never-seen-before business strategies that can potentially help to solve major problems in society. Think an app that maps out safe travel routes in India as a preventive measure for rape, as well as an app that connects the elderly with youngsters to resolve loneliness in the pioneer generation. Or how about a wearable device that can detect a cardiac arrest and alert emergency services in a heartbeat?
Dubbed as the Cure Band, this nifty prototype is the brainchild of three 13-year-olds who beat out all 30 teams to emerge victorious – and they will soon be pitching their way to LA in hopes of scoring USD50,000 in funding for their project. At this point, it’s only a matter of time before we see them as sharp-suited business leaders dominating significant markets in a few years’ time. And if this flourishing movement is any indication, their entrepreneurial streak certainly won’t be slowing down anytime soon. If anything, they are just getting started.
So if you have a brilliant idea that you’re passionate about, don’t be afraid to get it running and off the ground. It’s time for you to change the world.
Deciding on what to do after four years of secondary school education can be a daunting task. Apart from understanding what your desired tertiary institution has to offer, it is also important to consider the life skills that you would gain when you step into the workforce.
At Republic Polytechnic (RP), students can expect to receive a comprehensive learning experience that sets you up for career success right from the get-go. Using the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach, RP has come up with a specialised curriculum that equips students with lifelong learning skills that increases their job prospects as well as a collaborative attitude that enables them to think critically in the workplace, all while allowing them to grow as an individual.
Just take it from Kenneth Gwee, one of the stellar alumni from RP who benefitted from PBL well beyond the classroom. As an aspiring doctor, Kenneth had initially started out on a different tertiary path before deciding to pursue his interest in Biomedical Sciences at RP – and he never looked back. Through PBL, he was able to gain a dynamic learning experience which motivated him to be constantly produce the best results. His grit and tenacity eventually paid off as he was accepted into NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, where he’s currently studying and preparing to be a doctor. Although he has yet to complete his degree studies, the future already seems bright for Kenneth!
In addition to Kenneth’s success story, RP has also helped to create many more accomplished graduates who have since made a name for themselves in their respective fields. This includes familiar faces like MediaCorp actor Ian Fang, Tosh Zhang of Ah Boys To Men fame, and a quarter of The Sam Willows, Benjamin Kheng.
And if they can do it, so can you! Whether you’re hoping to become a doctor like Kenneth or realise your dream as an entertainer like Benjamin Kheng, leave it to RP to get you a headstart on your dream career.
If you’re interested to find out more on what you can gain from a Republic Polytechnic experience, head on down to the RP Open House happening from 10 to 12 January 2019. In the meantime, follow them on Facebook or Instagram for a glimpse of campus life at RP!
With 2019 just around the corner, it’s that time of the year to start setting resolutions for the year ahead. Here are 19 easy and totally doable ideas that should make your list.
#1 Kickstart a positive change
What better way to start afresh than making positive changes to your life? But instead of making drastic shifts to your daily routine, start off by adopting better lifestyle habits. Streamline your wardrobe by clearing out anything you haven’t worn in a long time, sneak in bouts of exercise when you’re in the classroom, or simply sitting up straight to maintain good posture. It’s all about taking baby steps!
#2 Make a new friend in school
Trying to fit in as the new kid in school? Making friends in a new environment can be nerve-wrecking, but you’d never know who comes along unless you put yourself out there. Don’t be shy to strike up a conversation with the person who sits next to you in class, or ask to share a table with someone who’s eating alone during lunch – you might just discover that you have more in common than you think!
#3 Be more environmentally conscious
Going green doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It can be something as simple as bringing along your own tumbler on your next coffee run, opting for E-tickets when purchasing tickets for a concert, or having an eco bag handy for your shopping loots. In addition to doing Mother Earth a huge favour, it’ll save you a couple of extra bucks from the takeaway charges as well.
#4 Acquire a new skill
It’s important to equip yourself with the right skillset that is relevant to your desired course of study. Not only does it allow you to discover a new hobby, it can also give you a competitive edge over your peers. Have an eye for design? Sign up for creative classes to keep your style fresh. Interested in other cultures? Pick up a new language to hone your fluency. Learning doesn’t have to come with a pricey fee either – there are tons of online classes that you can take up, FOC.
#5 Take a break from all things digital
No, this doesn’t mean going off the grid completely. But rather, making it a point to turn off any digital distractions when you’re working on something important. Put your mobile away, suspend your email notifications and unplug from social media for a bit (but still remain contactable to your peers just in case). This helps you to stay focused on the task at hand, thus increasing your productivity levels and improving your overall performance.
#6 Refine your social media presence
While you’re at it, find the time to polish up your social media accounts. In today’s digital age, having a clean and sparkling digital presence can serve as valuable additions to your admission applications. While most institutions don’t usually dig into every nook and cranny of your online profiles, one can never be too cautious. Misspellings, offensive wordings and inappropriate content could reflect badly on your personality and jeopardise your chances of getting into your desired school, so make sure to review your postings before uploading them!
#7 Get rid of toxic friends
Have a friend who’s constantly bringing you down? Chances are, these so-called pals care mostly about themselves and little about anyone else. If your relationship has reached a point beyond repair, it might be high time to cut the ties once and for all. Losing a friend you once cherished can be hard at first, but your mental wellbeing matters more than anything. Start filling your life with positive vibes and surrounding yourself with those who help you become a better person!
#8 Save up for rainy days
Between the hefty school fees and day-to-day expenses, being a student in today’s economy isn’t cheap. If taking up a part-time job isn’t an option with your busy schedule, an easy trick to save up for more pocket money is to collect your loose change. Make a conscious effort to empty your wallets of spare coins and put it into a piggy bank once a week. It may not look like a huge amount, but you’ll be surprised how much it can add up to at the end of every month!
#9 Read more books
Let’s be honest: how often do you pick up an actual book as compared to clicking on articles that pop up your newsfeed? In an era that tends to favour short pieces on the net than thick paperback reads, it’s imperative that we get back into the habit of reading. Besides helping you to unwind after a long day of learning, it also allows your eyes a much-needed break from the screens. Time to hit up the school library!
#10 Increase your water intake
As cliché as it sounds, most of us don’t always drink the recommended amount of water daily. Keeping your body well-hydrated doesn’t just contribute to better performance, but also helps to boost your mood and can even aid in weight loss. Cultivate the habit of drinking water by keeping a jug nearby and downing a cup after every bathroom break. There are also apps like Daily Water and iDrated to monitor your intake so there’s no excuse to skip a sip!
#11 Join a club in school
Part of the fun of starting life in a new campus is the plethora of clubs and activities available. From photography to arts, sports to coding, the possibilities are endless. Joining a club is a great way to meet like-minded people with similar hobbies, all while garnering new experiences. If there isn’t an existing club that suits your interests, you can even take the initiative to start one and build your own community!
#12 Be a volunteer
If there’s a cause you feel strongly for, becoming a volunteer is the perfect opportunity to give back to the community. Volunteering can be a highly fulfilling experience, but bear in mind that it also requires a huge deal of commitment, so be sure to realistically evaluate your schedule before signing up. Even if you can’t help out regularly, there are other ways you can get yourself involved such as manning the reception, giving out promotional flyers, packing for goodie bags etc. Although these duties may seem menial, you’ll feel good knowing that you’re making a difference, no matter how small that may be.
#13 Pay attention in class
We know how hard it is to pay attention to long lectures in the early mornings, but that’s not a reason for you to slack off. If you find yourself easily fidgeting or losing concentration in class, try to refocus your attention on taking notes, asking questions or joining in group discussions. Not only does it keep you engaged, it may even score you a few bonus participation points too!
#14 Find your own method of relaxation
Not everybody has the same way of relaxing. Some like to pamper themselves with a warm bubble bath, while others may prefer singing their hearts out at a karaoke session. Regardless, it’s important to find an outlet that helps you to release the tension and cope with your emotions in a healthy manner. This way, you’ll be able to tackle the next day with a clearer, refreshed mind.
#15 Get an adequate amount of rest
Been sleeping at irregular hours due to late-night cramming sessions? Newsflash: pulling an all-nighter can actually be more harmful than helpful. Instead, stretch the hours you have in the day to complete your work so it will not hinder your bedtime, and leave the night to catch up on your sleep. It’s recommended that you clock in at least eight hours of snooze time every night!
#16 See the world
It’s a great big world out there! Even if you’re tight on a student’s budget, there are plenty of affordable vacations that allow you to travel far without breaking your bank, so it’s best to do it at this point in life when you have little to no heavy responsibilities. You’ll get to learn about different cultures and meet people from all walks of life – truly an experience that will last you a lifetime.
#17 Try your hand at journaling
Rather than airing your frustrations via angsty 280-character tweets, why not pen down your feelings in a good ol’ diary instead? Keeping a journal can benefit your overall wellbeing in many ways – be it helping you to stay organised, manage your stress, or get your creative juices flowing. Who knew keeping a record of your thoughts can have such a big impact?
#18 Don’t go to school on an empty stomach
You might not notice it, but there are a lot of people who would forgo their breakfast when they’re rushing off to school. Meanwhile, those who fuel up in the morning tend to have more energy and are able to concentrate better throughout the day. If you don’t have time to eat a full brekkie, grab a granola bar or a pack of cookies to munch on while on commute. This will help to curb your hunger pangs till lunchtime and keep you energised in class.
#19 Make 2019 a year of experiences
The next chapter of your life should be one that’s filled with a boundless amount of experiences that would only fuel your desire to learn and grow. As you embark on your tertiary journey, be ready to seize the opportunities that come your way and make the best of them. Take the time to soak into the vibrant campus life and get yourself involved in as many activities as possible. 2019 is your year to shine!
It’s no secret that Singaporeans love our food. As much as we enjoy scouring for the latest cafes in town or the fanciest restaurants to hit up, you can’t go wrong with a traditional plate of good ol’ chicken rice (nasi lemak, laksa, chilli crab… the list goes on). That’s why this emotive short film produced by 21-year-old filmmaker Lucas Ashwin Clamence can easily strike a nostalgic chord with local foodies.
Titled Sappudu, Makan, Chifan, it revolves around the story of three unassuming locals and how they’ve bonded through food in the multiracial, culturally diverse society we call Singapore. With the help of his mentors from MDIS School of Media and Communications, Lucas’ hard work paid off as it deservedly clinched itself an honourable award at the Singapore Heritage Short Film Competition 2018.
Ahead, we talk to the aspiring filmmaker on the inspiration behind his award-winning passion project and the importance of preserving the tradition of culinary heritage through film.
Hi Lucas, how did you first come to discover your passion for filmmaking?
When I was 14, I was part of the Media Communications club back in secondary school and I was asked to act in a sports safety video. I got hooked onto acting and then went on to pursue the various aspects of production after joining the club.
Congratulations on being awarded the Merit Award at the Singapore Heritage Short Film Competition 2018! What was the entire experience like?
It was amazing! Having to shoot during hectic situations and chasing sunlight was quite a challenge, but we pushed on nevertheless. New members of the media club were also asked to come down and contribute to the production, thus there was a lot of learning for the new members and enhancement of skills for the older members.
Your short film Sappudu, Makan, Chifan features three Singaporeans across different races and how they have bonded through food. How did the idea come about?
I remember back in secondary school, I was filming a documentary when an interviewee made the comment that “food is not food, food is the relationship”. That got me thinking – every time we eat with someone, we are bonding over food. Regardless of the race, religion or food, there is a common bond that we share with everyone, which is that we all eat together.
What do you hope people will take away with them after watching Sappudu, Makan, Chifan?
I hope they realise that the everyday chores of eating are actually moments spread across time for us to cherish. Food is one of the most prominent aspects of our daily lives, be it a good breakfast to fuel you up for the day ahead, or a warm Sunday dinner at home with your loved ones. These moments are not just meant for nourishing our body, but for motivating our souls and ending the day with gratitude.
It’s heartening to see youths getting in touch with cultural heritage and traditional cuisine. What’s your take on that?
Indeed, I strongly believe that more teenagers need to learn and embrace our cultural roots that provide them with a sense of identity wherever they go. Singapore’s unique identity comes mainly from cultural diversity. I hope that my work inspires the audience and helps them to strengthen their bond with our cultural heritage.
What are some ways you think the younger generation can do to help keep heritage food alive?
Eat! The origin of where a particular dish is from is always, and will be, an interesting story to tell. Whether it’s a dish you’re dabao-ing from your local coffee shop or your grandma’s cooking at home, find out what’s the story behind it.
Recommend three of your favourite heritage food spots!
Newton Food Centre, Leong Yeow chicken rice down Waterloo Street, and D’Rubinah Restaurant in Sembawang.
One of your inspirations includes the story of how two teenagers fell in love over air batu (ice lolly). We love a good ol’ love story – tell us more about it.
This part of the story was about creating an impression and connecting two individuals through food. Here, it was air batu that bridged this connection. People always feel the need to complicate love and the aspects surrounding it, but what we fail to recognise is that love can be conveyed through many aspects – and in this short film, it was through food. Food gives us sustenance, and with that, love does too.
What’s a piece of advice you would give to aspiring filmmakers like yourself who’s hoping to pursue a career in the film industry?
Failure doesn’t mean life is against you. Every hurdle you face is to teach you that what you want is attainable. The world is not out to get you down, but to help you. Never hold back on your ideas, and allow your creativity to take control! A senior lecturer of mine always used to say “Be bold, never rude” and that sentiment has echoed with me through many situations.