1. What motivated you to apply for the PA Scholarship?
During my school days in polytechnic and National Service time with the
Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), I worked closely with various PA
organisations. Through collaborations with groups such as Bukit Batok East
Community Club (CC) and South West Community Development Council (CDC)
and interactions with volunteers and grassroots advisers, I witnessed firsthand
the immense commitment from PA towards nation building and community strengthening.
While serving in SCDF, I also frequently engaged with PA’s Community Emergency
and Engagement (C2E) Committees and the Community Emergency Response Team
(CERT) to organise both volunteer emergency preparedness training programmes
and community events, such as Community Resilience Days. I learnt that
there is greater depth to PA’s work, in empowering everyone in the community
to make a positive difference. It was the opportunity to give back to my
community and Singapore.
2. How has the scholarship supported you in your academic journey?
The scholarship has not only allowed me to fully dedicate my attention
towards my studies, but it has also provided me with numerous opportunities
and expanded my professional network.
Coming from a less-privileged background, I have always had to hold at
least one part-time job since the age of 14, sometimes at the expense of
performing at my best academically. With the financial support from the
scholarship, I have been able to concentrate fully on my studies while
also relieving my family of additional financial pressure.
Furthermore, the extensive network of scholars, volunteers, and mentors
available through the scholarship has opened up many opportunities – both
within the school where I have fellow PA scholar seniors, and professionally
where I receive guidance and advice from PA officers.
3. What are some valuable experiences you’ve gained as an undergraduate student in university?
I learnt that it is okay to struggle occasionally. At times, the curriculum,
assignments, and looming deadlines might be overwhelming, and one might
feel like they are falling behind. However, we are never alone. What is
important is to seek help when necessary, never compare yourself to others,
and to always manage your time and social bandwidth wisely.
There is never a shortage of opportunities to keep learning in life, and
one should not be afraid to embark on such a journey. I am pursuing a Minor
in Modern Languages which requires two language courses, so I am taking
Thai for one of them. While Thai has been challenging, it is also fun.
If we give up before even trying to learn something, we would never know
how beneficial it might be to us.
4. What kind of impact do you hope to have in your future career with PA?
I hope to be an inspiration to those around me.
Despite coming from an underprivileged, single-parent household, I have
worked extremely hard, regardless of the circumstances, to build a brighter
future for myself. My mother has also instilled in me the core belief to
always give back to my community and the less fortunate. I hope my story
inspires those around me to remember that hard work will eventually be
rewarded, and to always have compassion and kindness for others.
In the future, I also hope to be a mentor to the younger generation, especially
those who aspire to engage in community organising and building. I hope
to gain abundant experience to effectively mentor them, helping them become
even more impactful and empowering individuals within their communities.