David is a student of the Singapore Management University (SMU), with a double major in Psychology and Human Resources. He was the recipient of the Youth Shine Award 2010, which celebrates youth achievement. He has appeared in newspapers, his success story held up as an example for all to see.
But David was not always a star pupil.
In his secondary school days, he gang-hopped between 9 to 10 gangs, playing truant and getting into fights. He failed his Secondary 3 year three times, even after he was moved into the Normal (Academic) stream. He lost his best friend after rivals seeking revenge attacked his gang, and David was jailed for 18 months for rioting.
Upon his release, he went back to his old ways and got into more fights, attracting more trouble that landed him in jail for 6 years for attempted manslaughter.
These 6 years in jail was a wake-up call and a turning point for David, who began to pay more attention to his education. He went from a boy who could not pass Secondary 3 to the O Levels top-scorer in his class. He also scored well enough in his A Levels to gain admission into SMU.
David now works with Architects of Life as a mentor to “at-risk” youth, guiding them away from the mistakes that he had committed in his teenage years.
In this short video, David talks about his experience.