Special Talents and Excellence at BWYA

I’m immensely grateful of the fact that I’m surrounded by peers and instructors who constantly motivate me to push myself and step out of my comfort zone, and the award serves as a reminder of how lucky I am to be able to study and grow in such a supportive environment.

There are many ways we seek to encourage and promote success at BWYA, including of course our scholarship programme awarded at the start of every year, for achievements over the past 12 months. This year, over 900,000RMB was awarded to our students as we recognise and praise their efforts and success.

To learn more about what set this year’s 49 winners apart, we spoke with three of them, their homeroom teachers and supervisors to learn more.

Crystal Qin Grade 9

Special Talent Scholarship


“I’m really thankful to be able to receive this award and it means a lot to me because I never would have thought that I would’ve been able to achieve such a recognition for debating.” Where most schools focus entirely on academics, after winning a scholarship for participation in the after-school Forensics club, Grade 9 student Crystal Qin shared her joy with us at finding out the importance and value BWYA places on holistic education. “I have been participating in the Forensics club since Grade 6, and throughout these years, with the help of Mr. Haggar and the other teachers, I was especially able to improve in my ability to speak in front of large audiences and learn many different debate and public speaking techniques.” 

Speaking of Mr. Haggar, he only had praise when asked to comment on Crystal’s involvement in the club. “Crystal has a desire to do things well. This pervades the different things she does so that they are all done with excellence, and her debating performance has benefitted a great deal from this. She has been debating with the forensics club since Grade 6, and this is a key to improvement in any area: sustained effort over a long period of time.” 

Penny Zhang DP2

Academic Excellence Scholarship


Penny Zhang, now in DP2, pointed to her challenges as both obstacles, as well as motivation for success. “DP1 has been an extremely difficult and challenging year. I’m so glad that I pulled through each and every time the challenge seemed unconquerable with determination and persistence. I’ve tried, I’ve failed, I’ve learned. I became someone who feeds on challenges to seek meaning in life. So for me personally, the award is a recognition less about my actual achievements and more about my grit to always take on my own will to achieve more.” 

Her supervisor, Mr. Leseberg further shared with us her excellent attitude towards work, “In the classroom, she set herself apart from day one with a strategy for success. As the school year progressed she had a process of previewing material, dedicated attentiveness during class and intensive review leading to an incredible record of unmatched success. [Her work] went well beyond normal expectations and what her classmates attempted.”

Daniel Kim DP2

Academic Excellence Scholarship

Special Talent Scholarship


Academic Excellence and Special Talent scholarships winner Daniel Kim humbly deflected the attention away from himself when asked about his growth during his time at BWYA. “I think that BWYA offers a lot of opportunities for student initiatives to prosper. The staff are very supportive and display a lot of patience with students – This gives a lot of room for us to try new things, to fail, learn the lesson and get back up again. By the time we reach the 11th grade, students are reasonably well equipped with the organizational skills and problem-solving abilities to initiate projects on their own, and I think that’s one of the key reasons as to how BWYA is consistently able to develop holistic learners and leaders.”

Providing more insight into the work ethic that has led to Daniel’s success, and thereby this recent accolade, his supervisor Mr. Haggar again shared with us regarding Daniel’s diligence, “[His] time management and consistency are key factors in his ability to get so much done; those are things that any great leader needs, and he has them. Even more distinct, though, is Daniel’s wide, wide range of abilities; he can do so much, and his sense of excellence and high quality compels him to do everything very well.”

A Word from the Homeroom Teachers

“Congratulation to Crystal’s achievements last year! She has shown excellent performance not only in academic growth but also social activities. It can be seen from the teacher’s comments that she is an all-round student. She deserves what she has won.”  

Ms. Yang Bing 

“It is quite common, or at least there is a strong belief, that most students who achieve an excellent performance in class, do little outside an academic environment or vice versa.  Penny is the vivid example that there are extraordinary individuals who can do both and excel at both.  Anyone who has met Penny knows she deserves this award.  She is a leader and a role model in our school community.” 

Mr. Ramon Villar 

“Daniel is not only the role model in our homeroom but also a leader for the whole BWYA community. He is the kind of student with excellent academic records as well as great commitment and dedication to his extracurricular activities as well as the school-wide activities.” 

Ms. Li Jiayu

We hope this brief glimpse into the BWYA scholarship programme has helped you to see not only the quality of teaching, extra-curricular activities and students we have, but also how in every way we strive to encourage students to develop into academically excellent, capable and versatile young adults.

Finally we spoke with  member of the Scholarship Committee, Secondary School Principal Robert Wang to hear why he loves the scholarship award ceremony, “It is my great pleasure to hand out the scholarship awards each year. Not only because of their monetary value, but also because it clearly demonstrates our firm commitment to excellence in every area of students’ growth and development. Congratulations to all of the winners, you’ve worked very hard for this. To this year’s students, I encourage you to learn from their example, and you will reap what you sow.”