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A prestigious, internationally recognised award, the National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) maximises the potential of young people through selfless community service, skills development, sport and challenges of adventure. The aim of the NYAA programme is to encourage young people between the ages of 14 and 25 years to develop personal qualities of self-reliance, perseverance and a sense of responsibility to themselves and to society. It is a balanced programme of activities, which together support participants with the skills and dispositions that will help them to make a difference to themselves and to the world. The programme is a natural fit with the mission and values of UWCSEA, and it was introduced to students in 2008.

There are three levels of the award, with each level requiring a bigger commitment of both effort and time. The Bronze Award is for students aged 14 and over and requires a minimum participation of 6 months; the Silver Award is for students aged 15 and over and requires a minimum participation of 12 months; and the Gold Award is for students aged 16 and over and requires a minimum participation of 18 months.

The programme requires students to participate in five sections of service, adventurous journey, skills development, physical recreation and a residential project. While many of the requirements can be completed through the service, outdoor education and activities elements of the UWCSEA programme, many students also use additional, external activities to complete their NYAA requirements.

UWCSEA offers students in High School (generally in Grades 9 and 10) the opportunity to enrol directly into the Silver Level programme. The final level - Gold - is available to students who are committed to the programme through further activity in Grades 11 and 12, including an adventurous expedition during one of their term breaks (in addition to Project Week).

Singapore's NYAA, through which our students gain their awards, is the second largest National Award Authority in the world, having been established as a full member of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award since 1992.