Raffles Junior College student Josiah Tan beat the odds and yesterday became the first hearing impaired candidate to receive the Singapore Boys' Brigade (BB) President's Award.
He was one of five people to receive this annual award from President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana. It recognises the cream of the crop in the BB's Primer Programme for 16- to 18-year-olds.
"I never saw my hearing impairment as a handicap," said the 18-year-old, who continues to mentor BB juniors from his alma mater Raffles Institution (RI). "In fact, I thought if I could overcome it, it would be an inspiration to my juniors."
Part of the BB's mission is to serve the community.
"Painting one-room flats in Geylang Bahru opened my eyes to social problems in Singapore," said 18-year-old Jorrick Lim, another recipient of the President's award, who continues to mentor BB juniors in Unity Secondary School. "Despite living in an affluent society, there's...so much left to help."
The other three recipients this year are Ang Zheng Shun, Lim Xuan Zheng and Peter Chong, all 18.
They continue to serve in BB companies in their secondary schools RI, Presbyterian High and Fairfield Methodist respectively.