They didn't let Asperger's define theirJC years
With eloquence and poise, Mr Choo Kwang Zhee impressed the audience at a Model United Nations event.
The former Pioneer Junior College (PJC) student even took home a Verbal Commendation award.
But speaking in public, making eye contact and using hand gestures - these things do not come naturally to Mr Choo, 18. He has Asperger's syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder in which reading social cues and maintaining eye contact is challenging.
Speaking to The New Paper last Friday, he said the greatest challenge during his two years in PJC was the oral presentation section of Project Work, a compulsory subject he completed in 2016.
"I found it challenging to understand body language, maintain eye contact and appropriately use hand signals when presenting," he said.
But Mr Choo did not let this stop him. He practised hard every day with the help of his classmates and teacher, Ms Jane Lee, and scored an A for the subject.
Mr Choo, who collected his GCE A-level results last Friday, scored four As - in General Paper, mathematics, China Studies in English and history - and a C in economics.
He said PJC was different from his previous schools, where he was sometimes bullied. He also had opportunities that helped him grow further.
"I learnt that if you seek the earnest help of others who can provide the right support, it will help pull you through," said Mr Choo.
"I have zero regrets coming to PJC."
Mr Ryan Ch'ng, a former Victoria Junior College (VJC) student who also has Asperger's syndrome said he is grateful for VJC's supportive environment.
Wanting to try something new, he joined VPress, VJC's online newspaper.
"When I started out, I found it challenging to approach people for interviews and to constantly make eye contact," the 18-year-old said.
But he pushed through and eventually became the chief editor.
Asperger's syndrome even helped him perform his role better - his attention to detail helped him publish well-written articles for VPress.
"For a long time, I was hindered by my fear of trying... VJC was where I really went out of my comfort zone," he said.
"You will never know what you are capable of until you give yourself a chance to try."