These graduating Singapore Polytechnic students are Gold Medallists, an award given by their poly for academic excellence.
As a secondary school student, Mr Yong Ming Jie was a regular at the principal's office and he would usually end up in the detention room after that.
He often got into trouble for handing in sloppy work in class and dressing in a scruffy manner.
Said Mr Yong, now 20: "I felt embarrassed to be called out in the middle of a lesson.
"It was shameful to serve detention too because the detention area was out in the open so everyone could see me."
Knowing his teachers did not think highly of him, Mr Yong was not motivated to work hard.
He did well enough in his O-level examination to pursue a Diploma in Interior Design at Singapore Polytechnic (SP).
But his attitude towards his studies changed after he met his SP lecturers, who encouraged him and believed in him.
"They didn't neglect me because I wasn't an outstanding student. They gave me a lot of attention and help every time I troubled them with my questions," Mr Yong said.
Touched that his teachers were willing to invest their time and effort in him, Mr Yong gave his best in every project.
It was not easy as he had no background in design and had to learn everything from scratch.
"Many times, I was tempted to give up. But I had come this far and I didn't want to go back to where I was in secondary school," Mr Yong said. His efforts paid off.
Mr Yong, who will be graduating from SP next week, achieved an impressive GPA of 3.88, an achievement he attributes to his SP lecturers.
He hopes to pursue a course in architecture at the National University of Singapore.
"I (want) to help design and shape my home city, to be an architect who can help influence the cityscape of Singapore," he said.