Teng Zi Ying

The Dramatic Step Forward

Teng Zi Ying always had a love for the arts. At Tanjong Katong Girl’s School, she became the pioneer batch to take Drama as a G.C.E. ‘O’ Level subject. It was through a drama teacher that she learned about the Diploma in Applied Drama and Psychology course offered by Singapore Polytechnic.

Inspired by her love for drama and fascinated by the marriage of two completely separate fields of study, she argued with her family to let her take the polytechnic route after ‘O’ levels. After weeks of research, dragging her parents to the SP Open House and rounds of intense persuasion, she was finally given the nod to make this course her first choice at the Joint Admissions Exercise.

Today, as the SP Scholar and recipient of the Model Student Award graduates from SP, Zi Ying is feeling glad that she fought for her dream and that her parents trusted her to make the right decision. At SP, she discovered that drama could also be used as a tool for intervention, education and rehabilitation. From the Singapore Children’s Society to the Health Promotion Board, Zi Ying applied her acquired knowledge to create programmes that benefitted what she considered the “disempowered communities”, which include children from disadvantaged backgrounds and senior citizens with dementia.

Her graduation project involved working with the elderly in the Salvation Army’s Peacehaven Nursing Home. Her group extended it further by writing a report for the Agency for Integrated Care and presented it at the Community Cultural Development Conference. During her final year, she co-founded the inwardBOUND Youth Theatre Collective with a group of like-minded youths to create meaningful theatre for the community.

Nurtured under the SP Outstanding Talent Programme, Zi Ying has a strong interest in both global and local issues. Early last year, she participated in the Harvard Model United Nations Conference where she had a great time discussing solutions to global problems with tertiary students from all parts of the world.

Zi Ying is the only polytechnic student in the main committee of the on-going Our Singapore Conversation. With the other members, she participates in the discussions to listen and feel the ground. Her role also involves working with the Secretariat to brainstorm on topics and how to further it in the conversations. She was also selected to sit on the panel of Ministry of Education’s Professional Wing journey where she gave her views on education.

For her outstanding achievements, Zi Ying has been offered places in the local universities with scholarships. Her heart, however, is set at doing an interdisciplinary degree programme at the University College London. Upon getting her degree, she plans to work in the mental health and applied drama field for a few years before taking her Masters in Clinical Psychology and Applied Theatre.


Low Guan Onn Gold Medal
Asian Women’s Welfare Association Gold Medal
Shell Companies In Singapore Prize