St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (Tropicana PJ Campus) or SJIIM, added yet another feather to its cap when Nicol Yong, an SJIIM IBDP Scholar and former Student Representative Council President, was proclaimed winner of the Belt and Road Youth English Speaking Competition and the China Daily ‘21st Century Cup’ International English Speaking Competition in Hangzhou, China on 24 March 2019.
The competition which was aimed at helping youth from diverse background gain a deeper understanding of each other’s countries and cultures, was jointly organised by the China Daily, Hangzhou Municipal Government and the English-Speaking Union (ESU). Nicol made the school and Malaysia proud when she emerged the winner, beating stiff competition from 30 other competitors from 30 different countries and regions.
This was the first time the competition encompassed an international theme and themes of the prepared speeches for the contestants were ‘Let Us Be True to One Another’ and ‘The Great Truth is Simple’. Based on this, participants were inspired to share their points of view on a shared future and promote communication through competition and exchanges in response to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.
According to Nicol, the competition helped the youths from different countries break the ice, and also opened up her eyes to a new world, “It was here that I saw the possibility of global collaboration and peace rather than war and conflict. Having only participated in one local public speaking competition in 2018 prior to receiving the invitation from the English Speaking Union (ESU) of Malaysia, I didn’t fully understand the magnitude of what I was getting myself into but I am glad that I seized the opportunity. In my speeches, I decided that I was going to be a Malaysian who is given the opportunity to share her country’s culture with an international community and that I did – in Malaysian accent and all! I will always be grateful to all those who have helped make this whole experience possible especially ESU Malaysia, the China Daily, my family, friends and teachers.”
Dr. Nicola Brown, High School Principal of SJIIM, was also delighted with Nicol’s achievement and positive experience, “We are extremely proud of Nicol. She is a truly inspiring young woman who has benefited our school in many ways. She displays our core Lasallian values through her actions and initiatives every day and will definitely go on to make the world the better place through her passion and dedication to the environment and people around the world.”
Nicol Yong’s success in this competition resonates with SJIIM’s focus as a Lasallian school to instil a sense of community and international mindedness in the mindset of its students. Her positive experience will certainly serve as a source of inspiration to all students in SJIIM.
A brother school of the esteemed St Joseph’s Institution and SJI International in Singapore, St Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (SJIIM) provides Lasallian holistic education for 3- to 18-year olds. SJII Malaysia offers the International Primary Curriculum, Singapore Math and a strong Mandarin Programme as well as the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (“IGCSE”) and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (“IBDP”).
Located in the heart of the Tropicana township, the campus is a 6.5 acres’ purpose-built school which offers wide-ranging facilities such as an indoor sports hall, senior and junior swimming pools, auditorium / performing arts centre, music studios, black box drama rooms, separate elementary & high school libraries, computer lab, FA qualified football field, tennis courts, Lasallian Mission Centre, air conditioned dining hall, playgrounds and a sick bay. The school is also equipped with a campus-wide security system to ensure a safe environment for its students. For more information about the school, please visit www.sji-international.edu.my