Happy Youth Day to all youths and the young-at-heart! As we celebrate Youth Day on 5 July this year, we invite six youths to share with us their hopes and aspirations.
Raphael Joshua, NatSteel-SPD Education Programme Bursary Award recipient 2018 – 2020
Raphael, 19, aspires to be an authour and podcaster. Since young, he was intrigued by how authours like John Grisham and J.K. Rowling create and breathe life into fictional characters. He hopes to do the same and strives to attain similar levels of success as Grisham and Rowling.
He also hopes to use the podcasting medium to share his views and speak for those who are not able to do so themselves.
“I especially want to lend my voice to those who have invisible disabilities which the world does not see, but these are very real disabilities that people who have it, need to live with every day,” said Raphael.
“Despite the cards I’ve been dealt with in life, I know that I can succeed through hard work and unwavering faith in my abilities.”
Michelle Sim, speech therapist
As a speech therapist with SPD’s Continuing Therapy Programme, Michelle works with families and children with varied communication profiles and disorders. She finds great joy in helping children experience the joy of communication.
“My aspiration is to continually empower these children to grow and develop to their fullest potential,” shared Michelle.
Liew Zhi Xian Daniel, Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Scholarship for Persons with Disabilities 2019 recipient
22-year-old Daniel, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, has a flair for anything numbers and statistics. He is currently studying statistics and business analytics at the National University of Singapore.
“I hope Singapore’s education system will continue to grow and thrive, so that we can develop our talents and contribute to society,” Daniel shared.
Ong Xiu Hui, social worker
In her course of work as a social worker supporting SPD’s early intervention programmes, Xiu Hui has worked with many children with special needs and their families. She believes that the support from the larger community is essential in empowering caregivers to better nurture children with special needs.
“I hope for society to better accept people with disabilities, especially those with invisible disabilities, and for more inclusivity in our daily lives. I also wish that society will not be quick to judge caregivers of ‘misbehaving’ children,” said Xiu Hui.
“I wish to empower the caregivers I am working with to share their experiences with other caregivers on similar caregiving journeys and let them know that they are not alone,” she added.
Sabrina Uy, occupational therapist
As an occupational therapist supporting children and youths, Sabrina hopes to continuously grow in her profession and inspire other occupational therapists to love their profession and help more people in the society.
“My hope is for people to spread kindness, love, and inclusion everywhere,” shared Sabrina.
Foo Xu Hui, Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Scholarship for Persons with Disabilities 2019 recipient
After an accident, Xu Hui became paralysed waist down when she was 17 years old. Though she has to rely on a wheelchair for mobility, Xu Hui continues to participate and contribute actively in her school community.
The 24-year-old student encourages fellow youths to continue living their life to the fullest and pursuing their dreams passionately.
“The future is uncertain, but the present is clear; enjoy and focus on the current process even if the outcome seems impossible. You never know what is in store for you,” she said.