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KYLE'S STORY: He turns over new leaf after arrest

His brush with the law changed his life - for the better.

Kyle Heng, 17, was in Secondary 2 when he was arrested for shoplifting in June 2012.

The St Hilda's Secondary Normal (Technical) student said he and some friends stole game cards worth about $100 from a 7-Eleven store in Tampines.

He said: "It was just for the thrill. We were too playful to think about the consequences."

Kyle faced the consequences a few days later, when police came to his home and arrested him.

He had to attend counselling sessions under the Guidance Programme, managed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and run by voluntary welfare organisations.

After completing the programme, he was determined not to go down the same path.

Kyle said: "I didn't want to disappoint my parents or cause them to lose face."

Once he put his mind to it, he was surprised at how easy it was to focus in class.

Ms Eileen Ong, 27, who has been his form teacher since Secondary 1, can attest to his change.

She said: "All of a sudden, he started being attentive during lessons.

"He wasn't satisfied with knowing the answers. He made sure he thoroughly knows the concepts."

Kyle was so determined to do well that he revised his work and did practice papers for six hours daily before the N levels.

He also discovered a passion for calisthenics, a type of exercise that does not require equipment or apparatus.

He would organise training sessions with his friends at the school's fitness corner after school.

The teenager credits it with helping him focus on his studies, saying: "Exercising and studying are similar.

"It's important to be consistent while exercising to maintain my shape. I also have to be consistent while studying, if not my grades will drop."

Kyle intends to study aerospace avionics at the Institute of Technical Education College Central.

He said: "I heard it's quite tough. But with proper time management, I know I will be able to do it."