SINGAPORE - Five young Singaporeans were awarded the President's Scholarship on Wednesday (Aug 16) evening at the Istana.
They are Mr Lee Tat Wei, from Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Ms Cheri Wee Jin Ting, from the School of the Arts, Singapore (Sota), Raffles Institution graduates Jasdeep Singh Hundal and Agatha Sacha Lim Lee, and Officer Cadet Lionel Oh Wei Hao from National Junior College.
They are all 19.
The President's Scholarship is the most prestigious of all undergraduate awards given out by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
The recipients were picked by the Commission for their character, leadership potential and outstanding co-curricular and academic achievements. President's Scholarships have been awarded since 1966.
Mr Lee, who is going to study liberal arts at Yale University, said his parents are his greatest role models.
"My parents gave me an environment that money couldn't buy. They never pressured me to get straight As," said the younger of two sons, whose father is a taxi driver and mother a part-time sales assistant.
At the award ceremony, President Tony Tan Keng Yam told the new batch of President's Scholars that they can expect to tackle challenges such as safeguarding social cohesion and the need to improve skills in the workforce.
"Our global environment is constantly changing. As a small nation, Singapore has to constantly find our place in a world that does not owe us a living," said Dr Tan.
Singapore needs to "strive for continuous progress in order to earn our place on the global stage", he added.
Ms Wee, the first student from Sota to receive the President's Scholarship, said: "I feel honoured and privileged, not just for myself, but this award represents something for the school.
"I hope this will inspire others... to not be afraid of trying out new things and carving out your own path."
Ms Wee, who had specialised in dance at Sota, will be heading to Oxford University in Britain to study psychology and philosophy.
Ms Lim will also be going to Oxford University to study philosophy, politics and economics, while OCT Oh will be reading international relations at Tufts University in the United States. Mr Hundal will be taking a double degree in social sciences and history at Sciences Po in France and the University of California, Berkeley in the US.