Meet Dr Angela Lee, 32, who used to collect bottles and cans for recycling when she was a student at Serangoon Junior College.
“I suppose that’s why they called me ‘Rubbish Girl’,” she chuckled at the memory.
Dr Lee is a National Youth Achievement Gold Award Holder Alumni (Gaha).
The award is given by the National Youth Achievement Award Council (NYAAC), a non-profit organisation which helps cultivate responsible youths who give back to society.
Dr Lee is one of 500 from Gaha who will be taking part in a new initiative to promote Corporate Social Responsibility among businesses and institutions here.
She is now a scientist at A*Star’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology.
Dr Lee’s passion to care for the environment started when she was a student at Bedok South Secondary School, when she started partnering with the NYAAC.
“I started to take part in a lot of activities involving the environment,” she said. “The more you take part in such activities, the more it grows on you.”
After her A levels, she took up a scholarship from Nanyang Technological University and completed her degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
She now holds a PhD in which she got through a scholarship with A*Star.
Dubbed the “Recycling Queen” by friends and family, she continues to do her part for the environment.
“I am working on something that helps the various manufacturing industries do things more sustainably,” she said.
When asked what motivated her and got her from a neighbourhood school to where she is now, she said: “It’s the attitude, it’s the mindset and passion that took me this far.”
She added: “Keep your passion and interests and you will see results.”
This article was first published in The New Paper.