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A Banker Who Doesn’t Count Dollars

The Vice-President of our 40th Exco, is a multi-hyphenate mompreneur who runs a bank among her many roles. Thing is, her bank doesn’t provide financial services – its mission is reaches far beyond that.

Nichol Ng ⻩玮婷, Momprepreneur & Co-Founder of NGOs, Years in SNGS: 1985 to 1994, ECAs: Softball, AVA Club

Ever wondered what happens to leftover produce and food waste? How can every one of us help? Multi-hyphenate mompreneur Nichol Ng (Class of 1994 & current VP of the SNGSAA), not only has the answers, she and her brother Nicholas have also provided an actual solution to fight food wastage and food insecurity in Singapore. By setting up the nation’s first and only Food Bank in 2012, they aim to end food insecurity in Singapore.

Since Covid-19 struck last year, the Food Bank has already managed to redistribute more than 1.6 million kilograms of food to the less fortunate. You might have already read about Nichol’s story on various platforms. She has, after all, been interviewed by numerous publications over the last couple of years. What’s at the heart of this St. Nicholas alumna, though? “A pink Engergizer Bunny” is how she describes herself. This issue, we bring you another side of the vivacious Nichol.

 

Which teacher(s) had the greatest impact on your years in St Nicks & why? Too many. Mrs Hwang (校⻓) was the one who gave me my first “break” into leadership when I was 8 years old. She told my mum that I may not always excel in my grades but “this girl has some innate leadership qualities”. So that kind of set the stage of my life in St Nicks juggling multiple leadership roles, taking part in Drama on stage, special projects, and so on. Mrs Choy (Chan Wah) who was my Primary 6 Form Teacher is more like long-time friend now and we have kept in touch, becoming family friends and our class still meets once every CNY. Mrs Liu Seok Noi, the discipline mistress then, also took a chance with having a controversial head prefect from the express stream and stemming from the naughtiest class no less. She felt like a strict mentor that guided with love. Miss Quek Soo Hiang was also my Math Teacher in sec 3 & 4 that never gave up on me when I obtained F9 for my prelims due to my ECA commitments. She pressed on and gave me numerous reminders to focus on work and my O-Levels and eventually I obtained As for both A & E math. Somewhat like a miracle.

 

What is the role of AA to you?

AA是学校的精神⽀柱。我们也⾝负类似“延续⾹⽕“的责任:这年头由于⺟校的领导层每⼏年都会换⼈,校友会必须负起维持圣 尼各拉精神的重任,确保我们的双语、双⽂化等华校美德能够代代相传。

 

Fondest memory of your St Nicks days.

A hybrid of the best teh tarik in town and the “mega-shows” that we used to put out for our school’s anniversaries. Those 千⼈宴 type of events can easily put many shows to shame. What would you say to your graduating self back in 1994? The White Graduation Gown ain’t that bad and honestly you look great. Love yourself a little more. You’re a mom of 4 and work in essential services.

 

How do you manage during these tough times?

Childcare was a saviour so I was able to keep at least 2 of the kids in full day child care, leaving half of the brood to tend to. For HBL I actually get creative and instead of just following the lessons online, I try to incorporate daily cooking, sewing and “marketing” sessions into their learning. And as I was also given permission to return to the office/ warehouse to work not only for my food distribution business but also for The Food Bank where more help to the underprivileged vastly increased, I’d usually be in the office by 11am till 9pm or so, rushing home to put the kiddos to bed & taking on night duty. Time flies by because there are so many balls in the air to juggle. I wouldn’t say that these are tough times but times of awakening, allowing me the opportunity to speak to my kids about many deep issues despite them being 9 & under. I truly enjoy the “mad” life that I seem to lead and there is never a dull moment despite me only getting 4 hours of shut-eye nightly. I’ve 10 people in my household across 4 generations so it’s always a riot at home!

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