SINGAPORE - After the loss of his grandfather to lung cancer in 2015, Mr Aloysius Moh wanted to find a way to help people with chronic illnesses.
"This feeling of not wanting others to go through the same thing I went through triggered something in me. I wanted to help people battle chronic illnesses," said the 19-year-old.
In 2017, Mr Moh, then a student at ITE College Central, rallied his friends to start a campaign to raise awareness of bone marrow diseases.
They went from classroom to classroom to tell their peers and teachers more about the diseases and organised a bone marrow donation drive in school, with the help of the Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP).
Within two days, the campaign recruited 234 bone marrow donors. The BMDP usually gets an average of 50 sign-ups per day at road shows.
The success spurred Mr Moh to continue to do good. "When someone does good, it forms a ripple. We should continue the good deeds and let ripples become waves," he said.
Mr Moh is now a first-year aeronautical engineering student at Singapore Polytechnic.
On Thursday (Oct 4), he was one of the 182 young people who received the National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) gold award for their outstanding leadership and contributions to society.
The ceremony, held at the Singapore Polytechnic Convention Centre, was attended by President Halimah Yacob and hosted by Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance and chairman of the NYAA advisory board.
In her speech, President Halimah said that Singapore's success as a nation in an increasingly competitive world depends on the quality of its people.
"We must continue to help our youth nurture a heart for the community, while providing them with experiences to develop their skills. Through these experiences, we will also impart the right values to shape the character of our future generations, and guide them in making informed decisions," she added.
Over 800 guests attended the ceremony, including Members of Parliament, foreign ambassadors, corporate chiefs, community leaders, heads of organisations, principals and teachers.
Addressing the young people in the audience, Mr Heng said: "This gold award is an outward manifestation of something far more valuable than any precious metal - the fact that you have a wish to reach for your best, the heart to make a difference to others, and the guts to push yourself through challenges.
"Here, gold is a symbol for the value of your commitment, sincerity, determination, and service."