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It helpless. To cope with my grieve,

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It was early 2012, when my deskmate, Min Jun, stood up for me against a bully. I remember standing beside him speechless and was awed at his bravery. I smiled. I was truly grateful for what he did. From that day onwards, we became best friends and he was always there for me when I needed help. However, it was not long after that I lost him unexpectedly. When I received the news of his passing, I was puzzled, angry and confused. That night, I cried myself to sleep. For the second half of 2013, the unoccupied seat beside me constantly reminded me of him. I felt depressed and helpless. To cope with my grieve, I turned to art. I taught myself how to do digital art and soon, my life revolved around art. A few years passed and I was in college. I continued doing art, but this time it was different – it not only helped myself, it helped others. I stumbled upon Project Espoir, a service-learning (SL) project that wanted to raise awareness for the Association for Persons with Special Needs. (ASPN) I offered to help with their publicity campaign and I remember spending days after school designing publicity materials to raise awareness for their cause. After my pleasant experience working for Project Espoir, I decided to start my first SL project, Smile, Hwa Chong!, to raise awareness for Smile Asia and its cause. I was curious and had a great desire to learn how to run a SL project. I remember being clueless about how to run a SL project and working with a team of strangers hand-picked by my mentor. With the help of my team, I quickly learnt the ropes and after months of hard work and struggle, we managed to run a successful campaign. We sold self-designed merchandises and created our own media campaign. Within a short span of one year, these two projects taught me a lot, yet it also showed me how much I did not know. It highlighted a harsh reality – the beneficiaries suffering from disabilities or illnesses are too often neglected and marginalised. It also showed me how my art can actually help others. However, deep down inside, I knew that I could do more to help to these beneficiaries. So, I volunteered as a befriender at an event by Club Rainbow Singapore. It was my first time meeting and interacting with chronically-ill and disabled children. I was first introduced to a loving family of five and one of them stood out – a little wheelchair-bound boy. He was frail and had trouble travelling around. I guided them throughout the event and at the end of the event, the family thanked me for helping them. Before they left for a birthday party, they turned back and looked at me. They smiled. At that moment, I was reminded of the time when Min Jun brought that smile to my face and how happy I was when he helped me. I was astounded by the positive impact and happiness that helping others can bring about. My interest in medicine was then sparked. I want to be a doctor. I firmly believe that a career as a doctor will provide me with the opportunity to improve the lives of

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