Ruan Qin Yuan @ Rajan Nagapan - An Inspiring Son and A Father
It took some time but 32-year old Ruan Qin Yuan @ Rajan Nagapan is one step closer to realising his dream of becoming an engineer.
This year's winner of the Lee Kuan Yew Award topped his cohort in North View Secondary School during his 'N' levels in 1991 but had to drop out of school to work. His father was diagnosed with diabetes and was retrenched.
"I was offered a chance to do my 'O' levels but someone had to support the family," said the Diploma in Electronics, Computer & Communication Engineering graduand.
Qin Yuan signed on with the Navy for six years. The Navy sponsored his studies in ITE and he did very well and secured a place at Singapore Polytechnic. He then extended his contract which also came with a scholarship to study at Singapore Polytechnic.
When he was in his final year in Polytechnic, his father's kidneys failed. He had to skip classes to regularly bring his father for dialysis which meant he had to do more self-study and catching up with his tutorials while waiting.
Qin Yuan is especially grateful to his classmates and lecturers who went the extra mile by frequently staying back after lectures to clear his doubts. "These sessions sometimes lasted till 9pm or even later. They are the reason why I managed to get through my final year," he said. His determination and their support enabled Qin Yuan to score 33 distinctions and As out of his 34 modules.
Besides excellent academic achievements, Qin Yuan was also very active in co-curricular activities. He participated in the Polytechnic Forum in 2005, Mobile Intensive Learning Experience (MILE) programme in Japan in 2006, Overseas Community Project to the Philippines in 2005 and Singapore Robotics Games in 2007, where he won the gold medal in the open category. Qin Yuan was also presented with the Model Student Award in 2007.
He was also a peer tutor and was involved in organising activities for the Katong Special School, such as teaching the mentally-challenged children to read and speak.
Said Qin Yuan: "Coming from a background where I didn't have much, I know what it is like to be helpless. This is my way of helping others and making a difference in their lives."
Married with a four-month-old daughter, Qin Yuan is facing life with renewed vigour. He intends to further his studies and hopes to get a scholarship to achieve his goal.
- Lee Kuan Yew Award
- ABB Gold Medal
- Shell Companies in Singapore Prize
- OCBC Prize
- Infineon Technologies Academic Excellence Award
- Shell Merit Award
- Motorola Prize
- The Institution of Engineers, Singapore Prize