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Danie Yao is a hardworking individual who strives to improve their academic and personal studies. He is passionate in public speaking, problem solving and the environment, hoping to acquire an occupation balancing politics and economics, with some S.T.E.A.M elements, towards long-term sustainable development. 

The Story

As Danie walked through his school playground back in grade four, he would often play, get tired, eat a snack and see a trash can mere meters away from himself. Nevertheless, he would almost always decide to toss the litter onto the ground, as many of his friends did, but as he continued through his debating career, working through speeches and research, Danie slowly grew more conscious of the world he and everyone have lived and continued living on. Watching the news on the ever looming dangers of exacerbated climate change, pollution, and mass extinction, and viewing documentaries about the beautiful life on Earth and the amazing biomes and wildlife we have now, he has been wondering what situation the world would be in as time goes by. He found that if the world does not cut emissions by a quarter before 2030, climate change would be irreversible, even further supplementing his drive. He has come to the belief that society as a whole has to strive to overcome climate change even if it consumes national treasuries, and break societal norms that segregate the poor who are facing the worst of the crisis. Getting to understand the magnitude of climate change now has been a massive lesson he has learned since it affects so many people and it has been, time and time again disregarded or not focused on. As it becomes more and more apparent that current human actions are unsustainable, it is undeniable that acting now on the crisis is necessary. As Danie stood on the same playground four years later, looking back on what he had seen and had taken note of, he held an empty can and walked towards a recycling bin to dispose of the waste. 


At a young age, Danie was very talkative, often voicing his opinions and brainstorming ideas. He was also open to trying new activities, whether it was sports related or academically advanced. Over the course of his elementary years, he started debating, and learned to reason more effectively and ease conflicts. Debating also improved his confidence when delivering speeches towards audiences and his researching skills. This led to his interest in environmental action, as he researched several topics on climate change and sustainability and watched many documentaries. 


Before Danie entered high school, he had countless extracurriculars along with schoolwork to focus on. Throughout intermediate elementary, his time management greatly improved, which helped make high school less stressful from the beginning. He has done swimming, badminton and reached a black belt in taekwondo, and has debated in over 30 tournaments, online and in-person. Furthermore, he enjoys playing chess, solving math questions and riddles, developing new games, and hiking or cycling outdoors. In addition to this, he will be a grade representative in his school’s student government for his second year in high school.


Danie is still open to many paths in life, and considers finance / business, environmental science / innovation, and computer science. After that, he would like to work at major corporations and to become an entrepreneur, and aspires to help advocate for the betterment of the environment and to innovate superior green technology.

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