With a passion to serve the community, a career in the People’s Association (PA) is a natural path for Miss Crystal Chong.

The warmth and security of a close-knit nuclear and extended family motivated the 19-yearold to contribute to society by ensuring that less fortunate people can also enjoy that same sense of warmth and security.

Spending much of her childhood with her grandparents showed her the value of community engagement.

Miss Chong says: “I was greatly inspired by my grandfather, who had recently passed away. He was a sociable and active senior citizen. For him, the community was like his second family, and the way he impacted the people around him made him a deeply inspirational figure to me. I aspire to continue his legacy in my service to the community as a PA officer.”

She also credits her parents — an IT manager and a teacher for her secure upbringing.

Moulding her career

Miss Chong received a scholarship from PA to pursue a threeyear Bachelor of Arts programme in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at King’s College London, United Kingdom. She started her studies in September last year.

A peer-mentor supervises her overseas study experience and offers guidance when needed. Upcoming PA events are shared regularly with her and other scholars, who can attend the events to show support, volunteer and connect with members of the community.

Miss Chong also looks forward to her summer internship this July, when she will be attached to a community club for 10 weeks and will be able to engage residents through various events and activities.

After her undergraduate studies, she will join PA as a constituency manager in one of the community clubs.

She cannot wait to pursue an exciting career in a field that she is passionate about.

She highlights: “This appeals to me greatly as I have a strong passion to serve the community and a deep belief in service leadership.

“I also look forward to the different opportunities for job rotation within the various PA divisions, which will supplement my professional development and give me a broader perspective of various fields of work in PA.”

Finding the right fit

One of the most important qualities that PA looks out for in its scholars is passion for the community and a genuine conviction in the value of service. Miss Chong’s interests, passion and skills make her a good fit for the organisation.

Since her secondary school and junior college days in Nanyang Girls’ High School and Hwa Chong Junior College, she has been engaged in community service.

For over two years, Miss Chong volunteered at Willing Hearts, a charity that provides meals to the needy, and liaised with the Central Singapore Community Development Council to organise community service events for her school faculty. She also participated in an overseas community service project in Cambodia, spearheading the design and execution of a colourful mural in a rural school.

She is currently involved in Enactus, a student-led organisation that creates social change by empowering others. Enactus has various social projects such as ChipMonk, which aims to reduce food wastage, as well as Light- Mountain, which grooms entrepreneurs in Tanzania. She also volunteers for AgeUK, an organisation that promotes active ageing.

“The PA scholarship has enabled me to experience a different academic environment abroad, fulfilling my dream of studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics in a foreign country, while allowing me to pursue a long-term career with an organisation whose ethos I strongly identify with. It has also given me many opportunities for exposure and growth that I am very grateful for,” Miss Chong affirms.