Talent Development Scholarship
Recipients in the 2014/15 Academic Year
HO Wai Lun
Higher Diploma in Acting for Film and Television, Academy of Film
Hong Kong Baptist University
I am a magician and I am studying in the Academy of Film of the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU).
My parents got divorced when I was six. Since then, I have been living with my mother and younger sister who is three years my junior. When I proceeded to primary 1, I was found to have attention deficit problem. Later, I was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and referred to the psychiatric unit of a hospital by a psychologist. In view of this, my mother quit her accounting job so as to take good care of me and my sister. While our material life became less satisfying, we had more family time together.
My mother suspended my western medicine treatment when I was in primary school. Instead, I was given Chinese medicine for some time and received behaviour therapy from the Yaumatei Psychiatric Day Hospital. Meanwhile, my mother familiarised herself with the kind of family education designed to help children with hyperactivity disorder. Yet very often, we only managed to finish my homework around midnight. It was indeed not easy for me to complete primary school. I was lucky enough to be admitted to a top secondary school in the district. However, an unforeseen predicament was looming.
Having progressed to secondary school, I lost the desire to learn because I could not pay attention in class. I had a hard time catching up with my study. The experience of being a repeater and a student on conditional promotion undermined my self-confidence. My behavioural problems such as getting to school late, not handing in homework and faking sickness to skip school were a big headache for my mother.
Despite my poor academic performance, the turning point of my life came when I met a new teacher while repeating Form 2. It was my deputy class teacher. He invited me to join the school’s Magic Club. (I later found out that my mother, knowing that I was fond of this teacher, went to the school and asked him to take care of me). He gave me plenty of chances to perform in school and even encouraged me to enter the Hong Kong Schools Magic Competition. Grasping this precious opportunity to gain the recognition of others, I practised arduously and did not let my teacher down by winning the championship.
However, my achievement in magic performance did not help my academic results. That was why I quit school in the second term while repeating Form 4.
After leaving school, I had worked as a Chinese café delivery worker, toy shop salesman and chain store sale assistant. There were times when I felt depressed, disappointed and disoriented. Magic was my sole support then. I concentrated on refining my skills and joined competitions one after another. Magic has given meaning to my life. Other than applause and awards, performing magic has boosted my confidence and resilience.
As such, I attempted the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE) last year with a mere educational level of Form 4. To go through the two-year senior secondary study that I had missed in a couple of months was not easy. It was an ordeal indeed. When I was burning the midnight oil in a 24-hour fast food shop (as I could not concentrate in a common study room), I was also heading towards my goal.
My HKDSE results barely fulfilled the minimum entry requirements of HKBU and I was admitted. In September the same year, I finished the Hong Kong Open Stage Magic Contest (a competition awarding the most prestigious honours of the local magic circle) as first runner-up and became the youngest recipient ever.
The Talent Development Scholarship proves that every person has his own talent. In my case, magic has changed my life. I am prepared to use my magic to influence the lives of others, especially young people who have experienced setbacks and hardships in the course of their development.
KWOK Ho Tong
Associate of Arts (Music)
The Education University of Hong Kong
I believe that everyone has a dream and mine is to become a music teacher.
I started learning piano when I was just three years old and already obtained the ABRSM Grade 5 Certificate in primary 1. One may say that life has been plain sailing for me. But things did not always go well. When I was in primary school, serious illness caused great pain in my joints to such an extent that I had to stay in hospital for an entire year and stop my music lessons. I was very unhappy at that time. Lest I should repeat my grade, I put extra effort into my study to catch up with the progress of my classmates. Later when I returned to the primary school, I took a Guzheng course. It was all out of fun at the beginning; but with time, I developed a passion for this instrument.
My mother knows that I like playing Guzheng very much. With her full support, I joined the Music Office to learn playing Guzheng with Ms Chin King. Finding the lessons very difficult, I once thought of giving it up. But thanks to Ms Chin’s encouragement and my mother’s support, I kept on practising and finally obtained a performance level diploma from the Central Conservatory of Music. Ms Chin had a profound influence on me, not just in playing Guzheng. She gave me lots of invaluable advice on daily life as well. She is not only the teacher who has enlightened me, but also someone I look up to.
Music has helped shaping me as a positive and cheerful person as well as providing a channel for expressing my feelings. Now, music is guiding my life journey.
I remember when I sat for the first Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination, I had the dream of being admitted to a music-related degree programme. I indeed received a letter of conditional offer. Unfortunately, I could not fulfill the requirement in respect of the Chinese Language subject and was only admitted to a pre-associate degree programme. In utter despair then, playing Guzheng became the only way to vent my emotions and my love for it grew even stronger!
Although I have already obtained two performance level qualifications (from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Central Conservatory of Music), my Guzheng practice will not simply stop at that. Mr Metric Mok is now my Guzheng instructor. He teaches me more advanced techniques and the essence of performing.
However rough the road ahead may be, I am confident that with faith, I can overcome any obstacle to make my dream come true!
Last Review Date: 06/12/2017