Making waves in the pool is not a difficult task for Andrew Ong, recipient of the Lee Kuan Yew Award. The 20-year-old alumni of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) has set his sights on the more challenging task of conquering the sky.
Andrew has nurtured dreams of becoming a pilot since he took his first plane ride as a child. This desire only became more intense during his secondary school days. The path toward the skies has been deliberately paved since the day he took his ‘O’ Levels. Staying focused, he successfully enrolled at Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and secured a place in his first-choice course, Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering.
During his second year in SP, Andrew joined the Singapore Youth Flying Club. One year later, having earned his private pilot's license, he took off on a single-piston engine Piper Warrior II aircraft.
Embarking on a poly education did set him in deep thoughts initially, he admitted. He was not sure if he could fit in but that fear that was quickly dispelled. Andrew is a popular figure among his peers in SP, probably due to his friendly disposition. Besides classroom knowledge and practical skills, he has also picked up two invaluable qualities - independence and leadership.
In SP, Andrew competed as a member of the swimming team and became its captain during his third year. Under his leadership, the team took home the championship trophy at the Inter-Varsity Polytechnic (IVP) Games 2008.
Despite juggling studies with flying lessons and swimming, he still found time to complete an additional Certificate in Engineering Mathematics under the diploma-plus programme. Throughout his three-year course, he scored a total of 42 distinctions and As out of 44 modules. He was one of 17 students receiving the Model Student Award in 2008.
The charismatic and affable Andrew has been offered a place in both Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore to pursue an engineering degree, which he will take up after completing his national service. In the meantime, while waiting for his enlistment into national service, Andrew teaches at APS Swim School.