Prof with soft spot for kids in trouble

141227 Chan Wing Cheong

During the nine months that then 18-year-old John Lau (not his real name) was under probation for his involvement in gang activities in 1998, he had tuition twice a week with probation officer Chan Wing Cheong.

But what stuck with him most through the years were not so much the tuition sessions but the times when Associate Professor Chan, a volunteer, took him for meals or cycling.

“Even when my probation ended, Mr Chan made the effort to keep in contact with me and organise outings,” said Mr Lau.

“I realised there were people out there willing to help me without expecting anything in return. People are helping me – I should help myself too,” said Mr Lau, now 34.

He credits the efforts of his probation officer for helping him to go from being a school dropout to earning three master’s degrees – and working on a fourth.

Mr Lau is just one of the many people that Prof Chan, 49, an associate law professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS), has helped in his 21 years as a volunteer.

In October, he was recognised for his efforts with the President’s Special Recognition Award at this year’s President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Awards.

Lester Hio

The Straits Times

Wednesday, Dec 03, 2014

– See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/prof-soft-spot-kids-trouble#sthash.FnKIUZgk.dpuf

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