Top Student With A Heart Of Gold
At first sight, you can hardly associate the word “unfortunate” with this 20-year-old. After all, the second child from a happy family, Woo Mei Xia had an enviable childhood.
But that was before her brush with autistic kids.
“My sister joined AWWA (Asian Women’s Welfare Association) when I started my first year in Poly, and she always told me about how they needed help because these autistic children needed more care and attention than a normal kid”, said the former Singapore Chinese Girls School student.
Handling them and teaching autistic children was not an easy task, as Mei Xia found out.
“They throw books, overturn tables and sometimes even grab and pinch me violently,” Mei Xia recalled. But that did not deter her from getting close to these autistic children – or even give up on them entirely.
In fact, Mei Xia even increased her teaching days to five times a week during her school vacations.
“Helping autistic kids and receiving their appreciation through thank-yous and hugs really make my day,” she enthused.
But it was not all smooth sailing for Mei Xia. She had a roller-coaster ride of sorts in her education path. Having sailed through primary school, she went on to Singapore Chinese Girls’ School. However, frequent Orchard Road trips, regular movie outings and weekend 12-hour computer gaming sessions at home proved to be bad influences.
Mei Xia did not do as well as she wanted for her ‘O’ Levels and as a result she could not enrol in the JC of her choice.
But that proved to be an insignificant as she found out – after spending six months in another JC – that it wasn’t the suitable education system for her.
“The subjects in junior college were not relevant to what I wanted to be in the future and furthermore, I believed a polytechnic would give me a more hands-on education,” she revealed.
Mei Xia wanted to focus on mathematics as she had ambitions to become an actuary, a business professional who deals with the financial impact of risk. That was how she got herself a place in Singapore Polytechnic’s Diploma in Accountancy course.
Her poor ‘O’ Levels result proved to be a wake up call for Mei Xia. The precocious girl knew she had to buck up to be in control of her life. And wake up, she did. In fact, she topped her course by scoring a total of 34 distinctions and As out of 35 modules.
Mei Xia hopes to apply what she learnt in school by joining the actuary industry in future. But for now, she will be furthering her actuarial studies in Australia later this year.
Toh Chin Chye Gold Medal
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Singapore Branch Prize
Shell Companies In Singapore Prize
Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore Gold Medal