From troubled teen to model student
He was a troubled teen who got into gang fights, played truant, and did badly in his secondary school exams.
His severely ill father often took out his frustrations on him.
But after his father's death, Vasanthaan Sivajothi vowed to study hard for his N levels.
Last month, Mr Vasanthaan, now 21, an accountancy graduate, received a Character Award at the Student Excellence Award ceremony of Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP).More than 100 Excellence Awards were given to NP students for achievements in non-academic areas.
Mr Vasanthaan told The New Paper: "I knew I had to focus in class. I sat in the first row for all my lessons so I wouldn't be distracted."
He scored six points for his N levels, and received the Polytechnic Foundation Programme study award in his first year at NP. He also received scholarships in his remaining three years before graduating in May.
Mr Vasanthaan, who was NP's football club president, was nominated for the award by club adviser Ashraf Harith Pereira, who said: "He puts in his utmost efforts until the final whistle, and is able to spur the rest of the team forward."
Mr Cedric Chin, 19, a final-year accountancy student, also won the award for tutoring a visually-impaired student.
"Lecturers usually print out lecture notes on A3-sized paper for him. But to see the text on the computer, his face has to be mere inches from the screen," said Mr Chin, who read the questions to the student during his exam.
Though his parents were going through a divorce, Mr Chin continued helping the student,and also tutored another student with health issues.