“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” — Zig Ziglar
This quote suits well for the young prodigy who has received the prestigious Royal Education Award recently. Kavena Sivapragasam, the Cambridge A Level Alumna student has made the nation proud by graduating with a First Class Honours in the Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) programme from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
The award is certainly an exceptional haul for the outstanding student!
According to the Methodist College Kuala Lumpur, the Royal Education Award or known as Pingat Jaya Cemerlang is one of the most prestigious awards, which is awarded to two of the outstanding students (one bumiputra and one non-bumiputra) from each public institution annually.
Kavena’s enthusiasm in psychology began at an early age as she was looking up to her parents who transformed the lives of many people to overcome their mental health challenges. She opted to follow the Cambridge A Level (CAL) programme in MCKL after completing her SPM to provide a strong basis for her degree.
“The programme offered me an opportunity to strengthen my critical thinking abilities, and that skill further increased the quality of my university assignments,” she said of the CAL programme at MCKL. This has eventually helped me in thinking creatively and inquiring extensively about a topic, which seems to be a trait my teachers praised during my undergraduate studies.”
Additionally, the 23-year-old recipient of the Psychology Graduate Icon Award and the University Book Prize Recipient is also actively involved in international and national level events, competitions and projects while maintaining a first class CGPA which earned her the prestigious award.
“It was not always smooth-sailing but I am grateful that every initiative I participated in, was aligned with my passion. Hence, I enjoyed every moment of the journey towards the award. My perseverance was also due to my intention of wanting to shine more light on the field of social sciences and highlighting the importance of social sciences in building a better humanity.” – Kavena Sivapragasam
As an advocate on Positive Psychology, she genuinely hopes to see psychology evolve as an established body in Malaysia.
Speaking about her aspirations for the field of Psychology in Malaysia, Kavena stated “It is undeniable that there’s still plenty of room for enhancement but every contribution to the country is extremely valuable and necessary. It is time to amplify the need for positive practices in nurturing and tapping the potentials of a thriving community.”