In August, Angie Lee Xiao Fong was crowned as one of the top three winners in the writing category of the second annual International Youth Food Culture Contest. Participating middle and high school students around the world showcased either their writing or art skills in this contest organised by Youth Food, a non-profit youth organisation based in California, United States.
Ipoh Echo caught up with the 17-year-old Poi Lam High School student who wrote the winning piece, ‘When I Think of Food’.
Born and bred in Ipoh, this is Angie’s first attempt in the contest, which she came across while browsing online. And it is her first international win.
“My parents are really good cooks. My dad used to be a chef in America for crew ships. From young, the whole dining table will be teeming with food every day, just like a banquet. Hence, the essay is about how they inspire my life,” she told Ipoh Echo.
Drawing inspiration from the surroundings and her interactions with people, her interest in writing began when she was in Form 1 which prompted her to start a blog.
When asked on her favourite part about writing, the science stream Form 5 student replied, “I am not a really vocal person. I could express my thoughts better and people could feel my emotions via my essays.”
She improves her writing skills by watching the YouTube channel “JustKiddingNews”.
Citing Lang Leav as her favourite author, this is her advice for aspiring young writers. “Don’t be afraid. Before, I thought I was really bad in writing. After winning, I noticed I wasn’t really that bad. Show others your writings and get constructive criticisms.”
Her ambition is to someday be either one of these: architect, painter or writer.
Also an avid water colour painter, Angie won the consolation prize in Dasein Fans Club Sketch Board Contest last year.
Leong Ping Chow, the principal of Poi Lam High School since 2010, is very proud of her.
“I always say this to my students during school assembly – never give up because we don’t know what lies ahead. Success doesn’t come easy. Without struggle we’ll never achieve it,” said Leong.
Read the winning article in the next issue.