Setting up a school is on the future agenda of Ms Heng Jia Min.
The 22-year-old recipient of the Yale-NUS Global Leadership Scholarship wants to bring people together to focus on personal growth through a change in mindset. She aims to target working and retired adults, whose interaction with one another tends to lessen over time.
This inspiration came to Ms Heng while studying for her current major in environmental studies for her four-year Bachelor of Arts degree programme. It got her started to think and care deeply about everyday issues such as climate change and political unrest. She feels that this, in turn, is helping her to become a better person.
So far, the university has offered her several opportunities to travel abroad for experiential learnings, which helped to shape her views and principles, and discover what leadership means to her.
For instance, she went to the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, where representatives from various countries discussed the terms of the Paris Agreement. She also went for a month-long research project in Panama and a four-month study trip at Yale University in the United States last year.
Ms Heng also recognises that it is a privilege that she gets to enjoy benefits that came with the scholarship, such as financial support for her studies, so she could focus more on maximising her potential at the university. This spurs her on to achieve her dream to create opportunities for people to learn new things and improve themselves.
She feels that Yale-NUS’ merit scholarships support students who demonstrate a good fit with the school’s community and the capacity to flourish in the environment.
“In my case, the ample opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and the thoughtful community that holds one another to high standards fits well with my sense of curiosity and adventure, and motivation to be a better person,” she says.