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Tomorrow’s Guardians: Home Team Scholarships (2021 - Part 1)

Making a positive impact – three of this year’s Home Team Scholarship recipients tell us why they want to be part of the Home Team.
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GRAPHICS: Home Team News

The Home Team Scholarships comprise both uniformed and civilian scholarships, and include the Singapore Police Force (SPF) Scholarship, Singapore Merit Scholarship, Singapore Government Scholarship, Local Merit Scholarship and Home Team Local Study Award. These scholarships are awarded annually to students who excelled in their studies and co-curricular activities; displayed outstanding leadership qualities; and have a keen interest to embark on a career with the Home Team.

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Inspector (INSP) Daven Lim, 21, SPF

Recipient of the SPF Scholarship, studying Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley
Growing up, INSP Daven Lim would accompany his grandmother when she volunteered for the Residents’ Committee, and she inspired him to participate in community services himself, to better the lives of others. Now, INSP Lim hopes to do the same as a Police officer.

What inspired you to join SPF?
I lived with my grandparents during my primary school days, and my grandmother was very involved in volunteering for the Residents’ Committee. During my school holidays, I’d accompany her as she helped children from lower-income families in my neighbourhood. I befriended many of these kids and saw how some of the children were more susceptible to youth delinquency when they received less care and supervision outside of school hours, as their parents had to work to make ends meet. 

Preventing youth delinquency is something close to my heart, and joining SPF will allow me to tackle this issue through proactive efforts to engage stakeholders in the community.

Tell us about your volunteer experiences.
I’ve been volunteering since my school days and feel drawn to programmes that support children from less privileged backgrounds. As a volunteer with Children and Teens Community Hub Plus (CATCH+) under Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Constituency, I relate to the youths we meet, as someone who has shared the same community as them. 

How did you feel when you learnt that you’d received the SPF Scholarship?
It has given me a renewed sense of purpose. The two most important things to me in joining SPF are the commitment to do good and bettering the lives of Singaporeans. This Scholarship is not an endpoint but a pledge to do my best for Singapore, with even more opportunities for me to serve the community.

Why did you choose to study Computer Science?
I’ve always been interested in the potential of technology to improve lives. I want to delve deeper into this subject and push the boundaries of our technological capabilities. 

Crime is rapidly evolving and SPF needs to continue innovating to stay ahead and keep Singapore safe. There are many areas that can be improved by incorporating technology, such as operations, sense-making and training. I hope to apply what I learn to enhance SPF’s crime-fighting capabilities.  

I also hope the analytical and problem-solving skills gained from my studies will prepare me for the rigours of a career in SPF. We need to ensure that our policies are relevant to the problems we face and are the best solutions given the circumstances.   

What are your aspirations as a Home Team officer?
I hope to proactively prevent crimes and thus avert the negative impact on people’s lives from criminal activities, and to inspire people in the community to care for others around them. This will allow us to not only create a safer society, but also a kinder one. – INTERVIEWED BY LYNN NG

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PHOTO: Joash Tan

Ms Debbie Ong, 20, Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB)
Recipient of the Mid-Term Singapore Government Scholarship (Home Team Uniformed Services), studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Nanyang Technological University

Debbie’s community work experiences opened her eyes to the devastating effects of drugs, not only to abusers, but also their families. She hopes to join CNB in the battle against drugs and make Singapore a safe and secure home for everyone.

What inspired you to join CNB?
As a volunteer since secondary school, I’d go on weekly house visits to rental flats to distribute freshly cooked food to less privileged families, and would occasionally coach kids who were struggling academically. I saw how some families faced challenges due to drug abuse and it made me want to play an active role in creating a drug-free environment for children to live, play and grow up safely in.

Share with us your experiences as a young volunteer.
Most of the cases of drug abuse that I’ve witnessed through my community work involved either one or both parents. Growing up in unsafe environments and largely neglected by their parents, many of the children I interacted with struggled emotionally, mentally and physically. Because they’ve been exposed to drugs at home from such a young age, coupled with the lack of proper parental guidance, these children are themselves extremely vulnerable to the perils of substance abuse. 

How did you feel when you learnt that you’d received the Scholarship?
It came as a surprise, and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Home Team. More importantly, it’s a privilege to contribute to such a vital and meaningful cause – keeping Singapore safe and secure.

Why did you choose to study Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering?
I’ve always had an interest in Science and Mathematics. Chemical Engineering is a versatile field in which Chemistry can be applied to create innovative solutions in industries such as pharmaceuticals, petroleum and food science for the benefit of society.

What do you hope to achieve after your graduation?
I hope to become an effective team player in the Home Team family, and play my part to create a safe environment for my family, friends and fellow Singaporeans, so that we can go about our daily lives knowing that our safety is in good hands. It’s extremely rewarding to know that the work I do every day will have a direct impact on the wider community. – INTERVIEWED BY LYNN NG

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PHOTO: Joash Tan

Mr Ng Jian Yan, 21, Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) 
Recipient of the Singapore Government Scholarship (MHA Merit Scholarship Award), studying Biotechnology at Imperial College London

Having served his national service under the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Jian Yan now has the perfect opportunity to fuse his passion for the sciences and dream to be a Home Team officer.

What was your first experience of the Home Team? 
I served with SCDF during my National Service (NS) as a fire and rescue officer at an operational unit based at the Civil Defence Academy. We were mostly involved in supporting decontamination exercises and large fire rescue operations. 

One incident that sticks in my mind is the first fire I responded to – a massive blaze at a waste disposal facility at Mandai Estate in September 2020. This was also the largest blaze that I helped to fight. We were alerted to the fire in the evening and when we arrived at the scene, I witnessed first-hand the use of Science and Technology to keep our frontline officers safe and effective as they went about fighting the dangerous fire.

My NS days opened my eyes to how meaningful the work of SCDF officers is. I enjoyed the heart-warming stories shared by my commanders and enciks about how they’ve made a difference in the life of others, and the friendships that I forged with my fellow officers from training and working together under challenging conditions, and never giving up even when things get tough. These experiences truly inspired me to become a Home Team officer.

How did you feel when you first found out that you’d received the Scholarship?
I was over the moon! I knew from my NS days that I wanted a career in the Home Team and am glad for the faith that’s been placed in me. My family too were happy for me because they’ve always supported me in my endeavours.

What is it about HTX’s role as the Home Team’s force multiplier that resonates with you?
What drew me was the fact that “X” stands for how HTX can exponentially impact Singapore’s safety and security. This demonstrates that HTX embraces a limitless sense of creativity and possibilities in finding solutions to solve our challenges. With its focus on Science and Technology, HTX also serves as the glue that binds the Home Team agencies together. Science and Technology is crucial to every agency, and being part of HTX will allow me to work with many different departments and teams. 

What are your aspirations as a Home Team officer?
To simply make a positive impact on others! – INTERVIEWED BY JOASH TAN

SPF Scholarship and Home Team Scholarship Award Ceremony 2021
The Home Team Scholarships are awarded annually to students who have excelled in their studies and co-curricular activities; displayed outstanding leadership qualities; and have a keen interest to pursue a career with the Home Team.

The Home Team Scholarships comprise both uniformed and civilian scholarships, and include the Singapore Police Force Scholarship, the Singapore Merit Scholarship, and the Singapore Government Scholarship, and the Home Team Local Study Award. At the virtual ceremony this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs awarded 26 scholarships, and the recipients will pursue their studies in a range of disciplines at local and overseas universities. Congratulations to our 2021 scholars!

Read the Opening Address by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information and Second Minister for Home Affairs, at the SPF Scholarship and Home Team Scholarship Award Ceremony 2021, held on 19 August 2021.

Written by

Lynn Ng and Joash Tan


19 August 2021

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