Generation Grit: 'I discovered I could study when I scored my first A in my life at the Boys' Home'

Mr Jasper Yap, 24, went from being a teenage gangster to a top student, graduating as the valedictorian for his aerospace technology course at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. He is now setting his sights on building his business, he tells The Straits Times in this series on resilient millennials who overcame adversity to make a life for themselves.

When he was a teenager, Mr Jasper Yap joined a gang, took drugs and was sent to a Boys' Home for robbing a taxi driver. But he managed to turn his life around.
Mr Jasper Yap said his troubled past has, in a way, helped him to face his present difficulties, such as the stresses of building a business.
Mr Jasper Yap said his troubled past has, in a way, helped him to face his present difficulties, such as the stresses of building a business. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - By the age of 14, Mr Jasper Yap had already taken part in gang fights, consumed drugs, stolen motorcycles for joyrides and even robbed a taxi driver of all his cash, which was less than $100.

After he was caught for vehicle theft and robbery, Mr Yap was sent to the Singapore Boys' Home for two years in 2009. There, he resolved to turn his wayward life around.

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