The Radiant Stars
Mrs Grace Ng (GEF)
“The road ahead won’t be easy, I know. But do not worry, I shall not be daunted,“ the adjudicators were being assured by a petite 10-year old girl whose father passed away in her infancy. She rushed to the interview from her Nutcracker rehearsal and radiated faith in becoming a fine ballet dancer. “This pole is battered. It costs too much to replace. But there is no fear, I continued to learn, perform and thrive with it ”, said another 10-year old boy whose face radiated eagerness, hope and resilience (matched by the re-bounce from his battered pole) to be a master of Chinese martial arts. “I am just totally in love with math. I also know impetuousness is both my weakness and strength”, said another 10-year-old who radiated amazing self-knowledge and ability to self-correct . He spotted error in his own logics within a split second of answering; with a twinkle in his eyes, he reworked the correct answer within the next 15 seconds. They all have plans to share their scholarship with other kids in need. These ARE our “HK kids” without any of the stereotypical over-protected, spoiled and self-centred “HK kids” syndrome!
They are amongst the 24 winners (chosen from 95 students nominated by 55 participating primary schools) of the 2012 “Star Bright” scholarship awards presented by the Gifted Education Foundation (GEF). Half of the scholarships are being generously sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kowloon West; and supported by the Hong Kong Paediatric Foundation.
The GEF was the brainchild of the late Dr Raymond WU, GBS, set up in the 1990s to promote public awareness and innovative, multi-faceted development of children with special gifts. In 1995, the GEF organized and hosted the 11th International Conference on Gifted Education in Hong Kong, providing the impetus for subsequent development of policy framework and infra-structures for GE. In 2010, the GEF was revitalized by Mrs Maida WU, Dr Jason YEUNG a pediatrician, along with pre-eminent educationalists Mr YT LI, Mrs Ruth LAU, Mr Rex Lee and Mr TSO Kai Lok, and Mrs Grace NG. GEF is committed to carrying the torch handed from Dr WU, starting with this “Star Bright” Scholarship initiative, targeting primary school-aged children from needy families with special talents that may be outside of the conventional academic realm.
This “Star Bright” scholarship is not just about money. It is about transformation.
Undoubtedly the GEF scholarships will provide much-needed practical help for these students to pay for lessons or equipments. More importantly, for the emerging talents to be transformed into radiating stars, their heads need to be lifted high, their aspirations raised, their horizons broadened, and their social networks extended. The power of transformation will come from people and organizations that share this GEF vision, willing to become their life coaches, inviting them to visit your studio or business, providing training or activities that would expand their world view. Hong Kong has an assured future with more of these radiant stars.