HomeNewsHKOSA Prize Giving – Gemmi Cheung

HKOSA Prize Giving – Gemmi Cheung

When I was in S4, I was honoured to be nominated to join the Hong Kong Outstanding Students Award by my school. Established in 1985, HKOSA recognises promising students with outstanding academic, extracurricular, and community service achievements and morality. All Finalists of the Award are invited to join the HKOSA Association, which has evolved into a diverse community of more than 1,000 Award Alumni, including social leaders, entrepreneurs, and professionals. ‘Giving is Outstanding’ is the slogan of the award, which encourages us to contribute to society. I have learned so much and broadened my horizons on this one and a half-year journey. From the 400 candidates that sat the written test to the final 20 individual interviews, I have met so many different OSArs. Each stage of the award interview is unforgettable and will definitely be a lifelong memory for me. One highlight was the assessment camp which was held in June 2021. Due to COVID-19 restrictions at the time, the usual overnight camp was not possible, so a two-day camp was held instead. Even though it was not overnight, we had enough time to be with the other participants and learn about each other. Being an OSAr does not only require our academic abilities, but also calls upon our personalities, actions, and understanding of society. We formed teams and played different games to train our team spirit as well as show our own uniqueness. My team colour was green, and my team was called ‘Greenish Green’. Although we didn’t know whether we would meet again in the future, we treasured the moments we had at that time. We were all genuine with our peers and showed the real version of ourselves during the camp. After passing the assessment camp, we became official OSArs. There was a wide variety of ‘enrichment programmes’ provided by the Youth Arch Foundation, such as excursions sharings about different topics from past members of OSA. We could ask questions and chat with them to share opinions at dinner or lunch gatherings. Moreover, past members were paired up with students who are interested in studying overseas, to act as their mentors. In the programmes, we would learn more about real experiences from past OSArs and get their genuine and valuable opinions. In the finalist sharing session, I chose to present on “Special Educational Need Students”. “Every kid is unique” was my presentation title. Every student has their own personality and hobby and no one should be discriminated against because of their differences. I also heard some brilliant talks from other OSArs. Some of them who are also secondary school students had organised NGOs and were even representatives of the Hong Kong girl’s football team. Most of them targeted education inequality and even organised different enterprises like second-hand book shops and tutoring platforms. Seeing these outstanding performers, I truly understood the meaning of the term – “There is always a taller mountain”. We may think we are strong already, but we should never be overconfident or arrogant. On the other hand, we should not look down on ourselves or others because everyone has hidden talents and abilities. In a nutshell, I learned so much and broadened my horizons with the HKOSA, and I am glad to have been a part of it. I still couldn’t believe that I have been through so many stages and interviews, and it has been a blessing for me at each stage. The OSAr family is very special. There is a bond between present and past members and they are all willing to share and give opinions to each other. I met truly talented peers in society, and I was able to interact with them. This was undoubtedly a rare and precious experience and now, I have a brand-new interpretation for the meaning of ‘outstanding’. I hope whoever is reading this can also step out of their comfort zone and remember that ‘outstanding is giving’. Contribute to society while being excellent with your own skills!

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