Whenever she comes across someone needing directions or a schoolmate feeling unwell, Primary 6 pupil Dyan Nurqalisya Nurazhar does her best to help. She also donates her pocket money during donation drives.
Nurqalisya, 11, the fourth of five daughters of taxi driver Nurazhar Umar and teacher Mardiana Mosnee, both 36, said she learnt this habit from her sisters. "Helping people shows a good example to others, so they will do it next time."
The Townsville Primary School pupil's passion for helping others, academic achievements and leadership were highlighted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday, as he gave out 286 Edusave Character Awards and Edusave Merit Bursaries to Nurqalisya and other students from his Teck Ghee ward.
In a speech at Townsville Primary, Mr Lee congratulated the students and hoped they would prepare for the future by making use of learning opportunities and by caring for their schoolmates.
"In Singapore, the sky is the limit. If you work hard, you have (the) ability, you show what you can do, there are many more chances for you to do more and to contribute more to society," he said.
He lauded the achievements of 17-year-old Uma Maheswari Selva Kumar, who pushed herself and moved from the Normal (Technical) stream in Secondary 1 to Normal (Academic) in Secondary 2, and is now waiting to start her first year studying business management at Nanyang Polytechnic.
Mr Lee also cited Primary 5 pupil Janece Yong, 10, who was spurred to improve in mathematics last year with help from her sister, Jakelyn, 16, and tuition teachers.
Jakelyn, who received two Edusave awards yesterday, said she was proud of her sister. "At the start, she thought passing was enough, but now she tries hard to do well."
Yesterday, 529 students were given bursaries supported by the Teck Ghee Citizens Consultative Committee, which raised more than $184,000 through Seventh Month fund-raising events last year.
Mr Lee, an MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, thanked the donors and organisers for their generosity, saying: "I hope we will continue to develop this spirit (of mutual help and support) and build an even more warm-hearted society."
Wishing the students the best for the new school year, he said teachers, parents, schools and the Government will support them fully as they "do well, grow up and do well for Singapore".