Student of the Year Awards 2022/23
Take action to drive positive change
Relying on a competition format which has been carefully refined and updated over the past four decades, this year’s edition of the Student of the Year Awards is aiming to be bigger and better than ever.
As Hong Kong bounces back from the Covid-19 pandemic, the event will be a great chance to recognise the diverse talents of the city’s senior secondary students, giving them the credit they deserve for outstanding personal achievements and for the part they have played in helping the wider community get through some difficult times.
The theme this year is “Take action to drive positive change”, and one of the objectives is to pinpoint instances of how well young people were able to adapt to enforced circumstances and how they are now ready to take the initiative and make a difference.
In total, there are nine distinct categories. Nominations are welcomed for excellence in academic subjects, as well as in sports, visual arts, performing arts, and for best improvement.
Importantly, there are also Awards for devotion to school and involvement in community service. These are designed to draw attention to the special contribution of students who have a talent for planning, organising and leadership or a particular interest in volunteering and bringing people together.
For each category, there are a number of clearly defined assessment criteria. So, besides specific musical or language skills, as an example, the judges will also take account of a candidate’s all-round academic performance, other awards or recognition received in the past year, and meaningful involvement in community activities.
The aim is to identify and reward excellence, but also to value co-operation and encourage a mindset which understands the need to offer a helping hand to both friends and strangers.
By taking part in the Student of the Year Awards 2022/23, nominees have the chance to tell their own story and, perhaps, clarify some longer-term goals. Along the way, they are asked to submit personal reflections on this year’s theme. And, those progressing to the later stages can expect the judges to pose some fair but testing questions which, at some point, are likely to touch on reasons, motivations and ambitions.
To ensure that nominees gain as much as possible from the experience, the organising team will also be setting up opportunities to meet and learn from former winners. Many of these SOTY alumni have gone on to forge successful careers in business, industry, academia or various branches of government and they are more than willing to share insights and offer practical advice.
In the course of the event, there will be a number of tailor-made workshops and “fireside chats” with leading professionals from different sectors. The aim will be to broaden horizons and, for instance, to improve English language skills. There will also be a hackathon designed to encourage creativity and innovative thinking.
While preparing their submission, nominees are strongly advised to pay close attention to the entry requirements given for their target category. They should also take time to reflect on how their views and outlook have evolved over the last couple of years. And they should make sure they can clearly explain how their extracurricular or community projects have helped to drive positive change.