Seizing second chances

Daniel Ravindran turned his life around at ITE and with support, went on to graduate from polytechnic and university.

It’s hard to imagine Daniel Ravindran, winner of the Lee Kuan Yew Model Student Award 2015, was once a troubled teen.

He got involved with the wrong crowd, played truant and barely managed to graduate from ITE. Naturally, his parents were disappointed and lost trust in him.

It was only during his National Service that he started thinking about what he truly wanted for his future. He needed to go back to school and give it another shot.

People told me not to waste my time. But I wanted one last chance to prove to them and myself that I can do it.

He applied again to ITE and got accepted into the Higher Nitec in Electrical Engineering, a course he was passionate about.

There, Daniel met teachers who steered him in the right direction. In particular, he remembered Mr Foong Yee Fun who encouraged him by sharing personal stories about overcoming challenges.

While in ITE, he also became a youth mentor to guide students who, like him, were finding their way in life. This helped him build his confidence to lead and take on other leadership roles.

Some of my peers struggled just like I did in the past. I shared my experiences with them and tried to help them with some of the challenges they faced.

Daniel graduated from ITE top of his class and went on to pursue an engineering diploma at Singapore Polytechnic, and then a degree at a local university. He is now considering career opportunities in Artificial Intelligence. He’s glad he embraced his second chance and it has all paid off.

I want people to know it’s ok to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. If you’re willing to work hard, there are multiple opportunities and pathways to succeed.

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