Deandra Yulianto and Merlijn Rozendal have a lot in common – they are both hardworking, sporty and well-rounded achievers who have made the most of every aspect of life at ACG School Jakarta. Now they’re embracing their biggest role yet as Head Boys for the 2023/24 school year – and they couldn’t be more excited.
The power of role models
Now in his 13th year at the school Deandra has seen his fair share of Head Boys, and each one of them has played a meaningful role in helping him get where he is today.
“During my time at ACG I’ve watched many great leaders lead the school, and I’ve taken inspiration and attributes from them,” says Deandra. Now it’s his turn, and Deandra has a plethora of plans to inspire and engage students.
“I wanted to become Head Boy as I felt I could lead the school in a positive way, and I’m looking forward to creating lots of memories within the school community through events and activities. My goal is to ensure everyone has a memorable and fun year and also be someone the younger students can look up to.”
Encouraging students to prioritise their academics - while still actively participating in the school community - is one of the ways Deandra hopes to set an example.
“I’ll try my best to encourage study through reputation. As the Head Boy I aim to be one of the top students in my class, and hopefully if I achieve this it will give others strong motivation.”
There’s more to school than books
But Deandra is the first to admit it’s not all about academics.
“Students should enrol in extracurricular activities as it gives them opportunities to develop their skills and build strong friendships. During my time at ACG I’ve focused on sporting extracurriculars like football, volleyball, basketball and badminton. These activities have allowed me to create unbreakable bonds with people. I’ve enjoyed the competitive atmosphere and great teamwork and have lots of fond memories about our discussions around upcoming tactics and plans.”
Football has played a starring role for both Head Boys during their time at ACG. Deandra dreams of joining a football academy next year, while Co-Head Boy Merlijn is heavily involved in the Senior boys football team and has also coached the school’s Junior football team (he’s also a competitive swimmer with the Orcas).
Says Merlijn, “I am especially excited for sports-oriented Student Council events, graduations and farewells, and aim to leave a lasting legacy on my school.”
One of the key roles of a Head Student is to bring the school community together, and for Merlijn this will be paramount.
“My primary goal is to contribute to the school community by organising enjoyable and memorable events that foster a strong sense of unity and school spirit among students. I plan to be a reliable source of support, and lend a helping hand whenever students need guidance or assistance. Beyond events, I believe in creating a school environment that’s safe, inclusive and fun for everyone, and ensuring ACG School Jakarta is a place where every student feels valued and supported.”
Merlijn says being Head Boy “is not just a fancy title”.
“It also means being a good role model for my peers and younger students. I’m excited to face the challenges that come with this role and make a positive impact on my fellow students’ lives.”
Building the skills to lead
Alongside enhancing school life for others, Merlijn is looking forward to the opportunities his new role will provide to boost his own skills, particularly his leadership capabilities.
“This role will allow me to take on big responsibilities, grow as a leader, learn important life skills and develop as a person. Through this experience I aim to develop my leadership skills, decision-making abilities and empathy while also becoming a more effective communicator and role model for my peers.”
These attributes will stand Merlijn in good stead for the future, including next year when he returns to the Netherlands to pursue a bachelor’s degree in either psychology or engineering.
Advice for the year ahead
So what advice can our two Head Boys share with students as we embark on another busy, fun-filled academic year?
Merlijn says, “Try to stay organised. Do your work on time so you have time left for other things. If you struggle, ask your advisor for help – that’s always worked for me!”
Adds Deandra, “Set small goals and assign dates you want to achieve them by, that way you won’t get overwhelmed with too much work or stress.”