Calvin Woo, Malaysia's Queen's Young Leader meets the Queen

His biggest concern? Getting his bow right

By Andrea Tim | Published: 28 Jun 2016

Calvin meets Queen
Photo: BCA

Calvin Woo, a 21-year-old Johor native was the only Malaysian to be selected for this year's Queen's Young Leaders Award. Last week, he travelled to the UK with 59 other winners for a week-long residential programme, at the end of which they were awarded medals by Queen Elizabeth II herself.

It's an honour to represent Malaysia at the prestigious award programme, which Calvin is hoping will augment his work at NexGen Impact to improve education for fellow millennials back home.

"I told the Queen about NexGen Impact, and she said that what I'm doing is very crucial for the society's development. She also said to keep going and bring the nation forward," Calvin told us. A momentous occasion for him, but really, he was understandably nervous about something else: "I was both excited and nervous when meeting Her Majesty. I was trying really hard to get my bow right!"

Photo: Victoria Dawe

Calvin said that embracing diversity, being in a developing state and grasping the importance of collaboration were among many things he learned during his residential week.

On embracing diversity:
"By embracing our differences, we are able to fight in one voice to create an equitable and just society where every human being has freedom within the legal boundaries. On top of that, different countries have different ideas of how to approach an issue. Through discussions and networking, I was able to learn a lot about how young leaders from other countries solve an issue."

On being in a constant developing state:
"We always yearn to be a developed nation, which is a great goal. However, being a fully developed nation may lead to stagnation and complacency. In one of the sessions at the residential week, we explored the need to create a "developing" mind set. We need constant development in order to stay relevant and adapt to the ever-changing environment."

On collaboration:
"Working alone is never the way forward. I learned that strategic collaboration across sectors in solving issues will be more effective, because we put so many different relevant resources on the table. There are already plans for collaboration, among us Queen's Young Leaders, in some of our future projects."

Calvin will soon provide a detailed recap of his experience on his learning space and on NexGen Impact's website.

Related: Johor-born Calvin Woo to receive Queen's Young Leaders Award


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