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Inspiring stories from Class of 2017

When he was in Primary Three, Darren first came into contact with the Venus Flytrap, a carnivorous plant, during a trip to Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Intrigued by its unique characteristics, he sought to satiate his curiosity by purchasing and experimenting with more of such plants. Thus began his ardent attempts to propagate them. Even as he failed because of the plants’ climate sensitivity, Darren remained undeterred. He imported a batch of 30 Venus Flytraps from California, and subsequently successfully cloned a stock which acclimatises to Singapore’s weather.

Darren further honed his perseverance and science research skills in AJC’s Science club – Project Eureka. In addition to being the treasurer of the club, Darren actively participated in opportunities offered to him. He was part of a research team attached to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) School of Materials Science and Engineering which the college partners with. His group’s project, titled “3D Printed Platform for Chemotaxis Study”, was conferred numerous accolades such as Bronze awards in the 18th Elementz Science Research Conference and Exhibition and the Biomedical Engineering Society 11th Scientific Meeting. As a Science Pioneer in the college’s signature science research program, Anderson Science Programme in Research and Enrichment (ASPiRE), Darren immersed in a drone workshop with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), where he learned to build and pilot drones. Darren also pursued his passion by taking part in an overseas exchange programme at Nguyen Tat Thanh High School in Hanoi, a partner school of AJC. Through this overseas trip, he refined and reinforced his knowledge about robotics technology and rocket sciences.

In keeping with the college motto “Non Mihi Solum” (Not for Myself Alone), Darren has been actively sharing his knowledge in science both inside and outside of college. Driven by the outbreak of the Zika virus and his personal conviction to help residents grow plants which can kill mosquitoes, Darren sought to make a positive impact on his community by leveraging his knowledge. Today, he is the main breeder and distributor of Venus Flytraps in Singapore and has helped at least 300 beginners grow them here and in other tropical countries like Malaysia and the Philippines.

As a firm believer in giving back to the college, Darren voluntarily conducts science demonstrations and sharing sessions to inspire his juniors. He actively encourages his juniors to enrol in the college’s programs which have previously benefitted him. Darren carried out workshops on 3D Printing skills which he had himself picked up from his attachment at NTU. He also shared his experience with drones in SUTD with his juniors in the hopes of giving them an edge in their future projects. Darren also graciously volunteered his service during the AJC Open House 2018 by building a rocket to engage potential students with rocket sciences.


Darren with his Venus Flytrap

When you first meet someone as cheerful and optimistic as Mei Ting, you would not guess that she was dealt a less-than-favourable hand in life. Despite having a challenging family background exacerbated by financial complications, she juggled her responsibilities at home and in college well. Wise beyond her years, Mei Ting is an individual who strongly believes in having a positive mindset when faced with adversity.

Mei Ting believes that life in a junior college is not just about studying; she believes in seizing the opportunities to build character and strengthen people skills. Despite the challenges she faced, Mei Ting actively sought to serve the community. Through the college’s Alpha Programme, Mei Ting took the initiative to become a Grassroots volunteer. As a volunteer, she emceed for Youth’s Got Talent, and mentored children from less privileged homes during Camp Explore. Mei Ting attended the college’s Alpha Bravo Camp as a Class Leader to hone her leadership skills. As someone who subscribes to the philosophy of servant-leadership, Mei Ting realised that her own experiences at home mirrored those whom she served, and she relished opportunities to connect with the less fortunate members of society and to make a difference in their lives.

Mei Ting is a young woman of strong purpose and character. She believes in the college’s motto of “Non Mihi Solum” (Not For Myself Alone).

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Mei Ting (middle) and her schoolmates at MOE Excel Fest 2017