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Believe in yourself and reach your dreams

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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Believe in yourself and reach for your dreams

A car accident victim revealed how his life changed after he lost his memory over the past 19 years

29th November 2011

Imagine you have lost all your memories in a car accident, how would you react? This is exactly what happened to William Chan, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Youth Exchange Promotion United Association. “I was once frustrated and I once thought of committing suicide. Now that I look back, all these happened have granted me the chance to find my own life direction and goals,” said Chan.

Chan once studied at a prestigious high school, and was once the student’s association president in his Alma Mater. After his form five graduation, he studied A-levels in the UK. Somehow, the accident he has had on 9th May 2003 changed his life.

Chan was nearly dead, but fortunately he survived. Just like a computer being formatted, his memories over the past 19 years were lost. He lost what he has learnt in the past: he didn’t know how to spell the word “apple”; he didn’t know the basics of additions and subtractions; he didn’t know what Pythagoras’ theorem was.

Unable to recognize his family and friends, Chan trusted the woman, who claimed to be his mother, and followed her back to Hong Kong. Accompanied by his mother, he went back to Hong Kong and met his father, brothers and sister, who were all strangers to him at that time.

“When they showed me the photos, I felt like looking at the story of someone else, not that of William Chan. I was unable to recall anything that happened in the past,” said Chan. He continued, “Every time they talked about something happened in the past, like those happened in my secondary school life, I was clueless.”

The car accident Chan forced him to spend months retraining himself. “I had to relearn everything. Starting from all the basics, like things as simple as buying newspapers from a convenience store, to recognizing all my friends and families from the photos. It was a hard time,” said Chan.

Everyone knows Chan’s goal was to become a doctor before he left for the UK, and they all had high expectations for him. Yet he has no choice but to give up his goal, since he has to relearn everything, including academic knowledge, and there seems to be no way that he can achieve what he longed for.

When Chan was worrying about his future, his Alma Mater offered him the chance to resume school. In order to catch up with the school’s A-levels curriculum, Chan tried to read all the academic materials he has at midnight. However, under time restriction and the impact which the accident had brought him, he was unable to promote to college.

“I was really frustrated, and I even thought of committing suicide. Things were not working out and I lost my direction,” said Chan. He continued, “Volunteer work helped me to find my life direction. I worked with different non-profit organization and involved in many volunteer works. I re-defined myself as a person, and I found the goal of my life.”

Chan’s parents encouraged him to recommend himself to the Social Sciences Department of the Lingnan University. The school initially turned down his application due to limited vacancies, yet his father went to the school president’s residence, asking the president for an interview opportunity on behalf of Chan. The school ended up offering Chan the admission to its bachelor degree course.

Chan stayed involved in volunteer work during his undergraduate course. “I wanted to help those who are in need, and also to help local youngsters fulfill their dreams,” said Chan. Under the sponsorship of different parties (who?), Chan established the Hong Kong Youth Exchange Promotion United Association after his graduation in 2009. The Association aimed at creating opportunities for youngsters to reach their goals.

“The best way to predict future is to create it. Youngsters should not be afraid of living out their dreams. They should trust themselves and go for it. I want to witness more youngsters reaching their dreams, and together we can build a better society,” said Chan.


Comments from Ms Isabelle Umugwaneza:
Title: Believe in yourself and reach (for) your dreams Article: Again, well done, very extensive, reads like a story, and its a good one. One thing to consider is how your title is related to the article, as it seems William gave up on his dream, and chose another path. How could your article and title be tied more closely?


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