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This Sabahan Is The Only M’sian Vying for The Global Student Prize Worth RM445,000!

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Collage Alesyah
Source: Provided to WOB

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Our country may be in a mess and our futures uncertain, but Malaysians continue to rise above and thrive

It is not uncommon to hear of a Malaysian achieving another feat in their respective fields. Today, we highlight Alesyah Asa, the only Malaysian on the Top 50 finalist list for the 2022 Global Student Prize!

The Chegg.org Global Student Prize is a US$100,000 (RM445,000) award presented to an exceptional student making a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and to society.

Headshot 1 Alesyah Asa

 

Hailing from the land below the wind, the construction technology student from Keningau Vocational College, Sabah, beat over 7000 nominees from 150 countries to join the best 50 students who were shortlisted.

As a woman living in a rural, poorer area of Malaysia studying in a vocational field, Alesyah has risen above various stigmas, stereotypes, and economic hurdles to promote innovation, STEM education and inclusivity in her school and the wider community.

A leader in tech

The accomplished student is a natural leader. She has led several school initiatives in STEM-related activities, mainly focusing on vocational students and special needs learners.

In the same year, she, along with the same team, Alesyah led a STEAM project known as the “Eureka Hub”, which trained peers and teachers on robotics, drones, 3D printing and entrepreneurship.

Photo 2022 07 13 21 32 58

 

This initiative raised her peers’ interest and skill in using emerging technologies.

The US-based Awesome Foundation recognised the project’s success, making her and her team the first recipient of a $1000 STEAM Grant. 

A cultural queen

Alesyah also initiated an international exchange programme between her school and several schools in South Korea.

Photo In Action Alesyah In Korean Traditional Outfit During Malaysia South Korea Student Exchange Programme

 

In 2019 she led a team of 12 students to visit schools there, prompting technology and knowledge transfer in areas such as robotics and drone technology, as well as developing new strategies to implement vocational education.

Photo In Action Alesyah In Her Ethnic Dress Promoting Sabah Traditional Culture To A Group Of South Korean Students During Her Stay As An Exchange Student In Seoul

 

The programme has fostered a deeper cultural understanding between schools in the two countries.

A champion for women

As a construction technology student, Alesyah’s mission is to inspire women to excel in traditionally male-dominated fields.

“This is important so that women can have equal access and opportunities to succeed in any field,” she says.

As one of the few female students enrolled on her course, Alesyah has represented her department in various vocational competitions and has mentored other female students to do the same.

Photo In Action Alesyah Teaching Students And Teachers How To Use 3D Printing Pen 1

 

Alesyah led an all-female school team to be awarded Community Innovation Winner at the Global Media and Information Literacy Youth Hackathon, co-organized by UNESCO and the Republic of Korea.

Her team helped tackle misinformation related to COVID-19 by educating the public about fake news and hoaxes through strategies that helped communities better research, analyze and evaluate information.

Because of her work, more female students represent the school in innovation contests, and some of her school’s special needs learners have been nationally recognized as pioneers in using sign language to present their projects in national and international competitions.

Photo In Action Alesyah Together With Her Team Explaining Their Project At An Innovation Contest

 

We love an inclusivity queen!

Hopes and testimonials

If she were to win the Global Student Prize, Alesyah would use the prize money to invest in the Eureka Hub, improve school infrastructure, and further develop her project tackling COVID-19 misinformation.

When asked what drives her to do what she does, Alesyah points to her field of study, construction technology, and her limited access to resources and financial support.

“It is common to think that the odds are against us, which is why I am determined to prove otherwise. I want to show that the only limiting factor is our perception of our abilities and our environment,” she says.

Photo In Action Alesyah Putting The Final Touch On Her Teams Latest Innovation Project

 

She also advises students who wish to excel to be risk takers.

“It is always good to try something that you’ve never tried before or don’t think you’ll be good at. You’ll be surprised at how wrong you are when you venture into the new territory. It is also important to constantly experiment with new ways of doing something.”

The college director, Johari (Jaibet Bin Sabin), expressed his delight in Alesyah’s achievement since it proved that our national education system, particularly vocational education, has effectively fostered students with great competence, creativity and charisma.

He hopes that this milestone will inspire more students to push themselves to live up to their fullest potential.

What a powerhouse! We are totally crushing on Alesyah right now. We hope she continues on her journey to learn and impact the lives of her peers and society.

 

Also read: 2 Malaysian Schools Among Top 10 Shortlisted for ‘World’s Best School Prizes’

School


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