“My parents separated when I was three, and as I was under my mom’s custody, I’ve been with her ever since. Growing up, we had to move from one house to the next because applying for our own home took such a long time. My mom faced many financial challenges back then.
I didn’t want to be a burden to her, so I started working at a young age to support myself. I’ve been working and studying full-time since I was 15, and I’ve maintained this balance throughout my higher nitec and polytechnic days.
What did I study at poly? Multimedia and Infocomm Technology. I’ve been interested in this field of study ever since my uncle introduced me to a computer. I was eight when I discovered that I could edit videos, play games and even create websites with it, so I’ve been passionate about IT for a while.
Yes, I am very proud to be a recipient of the Tay Eng Soon Award today, and it feels good to graduate as one of the top three in my cohort. But it wasn’t easy to get to this point. I recall all the sacrifices I had to make in my social life, and all those late nights I spent studying hard.
To motivate myself, I’d think back upon how I almost got kicked out of secondary school. I just started working back then and I didn’t know how to juggle work and school well. My form teacher called my mom and warned her that I could get expelled if I didn’t attend school regularly.
She was furious! She asked me if I wanted to be a cleaner my whole life because I didn’t have proper education. That was the turning point for me. Ever since then, I’ve programmed myself to work, study and plan my time wisely. It’s paying off now. When my mom learnt of what I’ve achieved today, she said, “I didn’t know my son was a genius.” (laughs)
What’s my game plan now? To gain some work experience and return to Nanyang Poly after a few years to become a lecturer. I’m inspired by my lecturers who handled so many different things yet still found time to be compassionate to their students. I would like to follow in their footsteps and mentor my own students.
I would want my own students to always have a positive mindset when facing difficulties. Sometimes when you lose so much in life, you truly understand the value of living. Always focus on solutions instead of blaming others for what happened to you.” – Fauzan, 27
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