Always A Lesson, Never A Failure
Story by Mar'atun Salihah | Photos courtesy of Rebecca Ong
Adventurous. This is how SBM’s valedictorian at 2017’s graduation, Rebecca Ong, 20, would sum up her experience at NYP. She graduated with a Diploma in Accountancy and Finance, full of grit, courage and resilience. She was also the President of the SBM Club and an assistant general secretary of Tampines Central Youth Executive Committee (YEC).
She has her father to thank for being involved in community events since she was a child.
Her father is a Residents Committee member. This led to her developing a passion for events management.
Living out her passion for nurturing and coaching through her CCA, Rebecca always emphasises the importance of making a positive impact on others and not focusing solely on academics. She aims to instill excellent values among fellow peers even after they graduate. “When I made my graduation speech, I wished for them to have courage, determination and resilience through all the ups and downs,” she said.
Her first ever big scale event was when she became the overall in-charge for Freshman Orientation, handling 1,200 incoming students. At that point of time, it became a pivotal moment for her to embrace more challenges and she grabbed every opportunity that came her way.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing when it came to her academic pursuit. Rebecca embarked on a Diploma Plus programme in her second year, a time where she was also juggling her part-time job, school, CCAs and community work. Because of that, she failed her Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) paper.
“I didn’t know how to tell my parents because they’ve always had high hopes for me, I was always the child that they didn’t have to worry about,” said Rebecca, who has two siblings. That was a turning point for her, as it was the first failure she’d face in her academic pursuits. Her parents turned her “failure” into a positive lesson and encouraged her to keep moving forward. “Failure is not fatal. Where success comes from is actually through failures, it is only through all these experiences you come back stronger,” she said.
She recalls mugging through her projects and in particular, once at Changi Airport up till 6am for a presentation due that morning. Because of this, she lost the time spent with loved ones, especially her parents, as she only gets to see them on the weekends. In times of hardships, her parents have been her pillar of strength all this while. “My life is like a puzzle, with all the commitments I try to fit them in different places,” she said.
After having six months of internship at Ernst & Yang, Rebecca got an immediate placement to continue working as a full-time auditor and plans to pursue her degree in the future. “When you fall down seven times, stand up eight times,” she concluded.