A 17-year-old high school student from Hong Kong who launched an initiative to donate hundreds of 3D printed face shields to hospitals overseas when the Covid-19 pandemic first struck won the first this year’s student of the year award.
Grade 12 student Dylan Fischer, who studies at the German Swiss International School, is also a dedicated archer who has represented the city in several regional and world tournaments. His goal is to study socio-economics at university and, in the future, to fight inequalities in Hong Kong.
The awards, organized by the South China Morning Post and sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, recognizes the best students in the city for their academic excellence as well as their contributions to the community.
Hundreds of high school students competed for 11 awards in nine categories, including science, languages, sports and performing arts, as well as best improvement, best devotion to school, community contributor and great price.
Discover last year’s SOTY award winners
Fischer, who received HK $ 25,000 as part of his award, said he hopes he can pass his passion for community work on to others. As the pandemic raged last year, he implemented two initiatives that provided protective gear to many people in need.
He said his team, which includes several other students from his school, has donated more than 350 face shields, sourced from the Hong Kong 3D Printing Association, to hospitals around the world, including the United States and India. .
Learn more about Dylan Fischer and the team of students giving back to the community during Covid-19
Last year, they also raised over HK $ 40,000 in just a few weeks to fund hundreds of relief packages, which they distributed to economically disadvantaged families in Hong Kong. The packages included hand sanitizer, masks, rice, canned food and other supplies.
âWhen the pandemic first hit, I didn’t think I would raise money for the community, or find and distribute face shields to countries in need. However, when I saw the devastation of the pandemic, I knew I couldn’t step back and watch, âFischer said Saturday via video conference from the United States.
The first finalist was Aditya Shrisankaraan of the West Island School of the English Schools Foundation, a tech-savvy student passionate about issues such as energy efficiency. The second runner-up was Fahim Hossain, from St Joseph’s College, who has worked to advocate for inclusion and diversity, including helping non-Chinese students integrate into the community.
They received cash prizes of HK $ 8,000 and HK $ 4,000, respectively.
Post CEO Gary Liu (left) with second finalist Fahim Hossain, first finalist Aditya Shrisankaraan and Hong Kong Jockey Club CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges. Photo: SCMP / Edmond So
At an awards ceremony on Saturday, the city’s No. 2 official, Chief Secretary John Lee Ka-chiu, called the students’ achievements “outstanding.”
âThis highlights the extraordinary challenges our young people and our community have faced over the past two years, from widespread social unrest to the Covid-19 pandemic,â he said, referring to the civil unrest of 2019. â[Our studentsâ] excellence in these times of trial makes us all proud.
Winner of last year’s grand prize for learning Cantonese after leaving the United States for Hong Kong
Gary Liu, CEO of To post and a member of the Awards Advisory Board, also praised the students for their resilience in addition to their diligence and academic excellence.
âLearning to face challenges with courage and determination benefits students beyond their academic careers. By overcoming obstacles, we can all develop the perseverance necessary to relentlessly pursue even the greatest of dreams, âLiu said.
Hong Kong Jockey Club CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, also a member of the advisory board, said he hopes the winners will continue to give back to society and become community leaders in the future.
âAs the pandemic has reminded us, we must work together and we must reach out to those in need,â he said.
What this year’s Grand Prix judges were looking for – creativity and resilience
Better devotion to school: Leung Oi-ching (Bishop Hall Jubilee School); Ma Hiu-lam (Heep Yunn School); Lee Long-ting (Ho Fung College (sponsored by Sik Sik Yuen)), Zareen Tasnim (King George V School); and Lau Tsz-yee (Munsang College).
Best improvement: Allison Chu Nga-man (Bishop Hall Jubilee School); Ko Wing-lam (Fat Ho Buddhist Memorial College); Rachel Yu Pui-hang (School of Good Hope); Chui Chun-hung (Ho Dao College (sponsored by Sik Sik Yuen)); and Evan Lo Hong-tik (La Salle College).
Individual categories: community contributor (Mok Tin-yan, PLK Tang Yuk Tien College); LCantonese inguist (Chloe Kwan Wei-ling, Diocesan Girls’ School); English linguist (Nathan Ng Leong-hang); Mandarin Linguist (Jiang Leyi, Singapore International School (Hong Kong)); Performing artist (Chung On-ching, Heep Yunn school); Scientist and mathematician (Luo Junhong, Singapore International School (Hong Kong)); Athletic (Vincent Capol, Swiss German International School); Visual artist (Fung Yan-lam, CCC Kei Yuen College).
Winners in other categories received scholarships ranging from HK $ 5,000 to HK $ 10,000.