Since young, Shantel Neo has been fascinated with dance and harboured a dream of one day becoming a dancer. This was not to be, as Shantel’s parents felt dance was not a viable career path. They encouraged the Ang Mo Kio Secondary School alumna to focus her energies on her other love – writing. Blessed with an expressive personality and a strong interest in the arts, Shantel pursued her passion for writing and has never looked back since!
After scoring an aggregate of five points for five subjects at the G.C.E. ‘O’ Level examinations, Shantel could easily have qualified for entry to most junior colleges, but her sights were set on Singapore Polytechnic’s (SP) Diploma in Creative Writing for TV and New Media. There, she was able to develop her passion in writing through scripts and creating films.
As an SP Scholar, Shantel not only excelled in her academic subjects, but also made it a point to pursue activities outside of class. She never passed up on opportunities to dive head-first into filmmaking and scriptwriting, and was involved in the development of numerous productions, notably “Behind the Arts” – a documentary short film on the controversial A*STAR researcher, Dr Eng Kai Er, and “Waiting for Tomorrow” – a heart-warming story of a homeless man in Ipoh, a film which was eventually featured at the Young Writer’s Festival 2016.
In 2015, Shantel served as a new media journalist for the SEA Games 2015 where she experienced the adrenalin rush of writing and publishing articles within tight deadlines. These experiences put Shantel’s writing and storytelling skills to the test and she always came out on top.
While lectures and tutorials already take up the bulk of a typical SP student’s schedule, her outstanding time management allowed her to dabble in other interests. Shantel loves the moon and the stars, and joined the Astronomy Club where she served as Vice President. She also participated actively with SP Strictly Dance Zone where she had many chances to indulge in dancing again!
Shantel’s passion also extends beyond herself. Her big heart shone during an overseas community project where she taught English to a group of students from the Don Bosco School in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. She was humbled and inspired by the dreams and aspirations of the native students, and drew inspiration to better herself. Till this day, Shantel still keeps in touch with the students she taught. Coincidentally, they are graduating at the same time as her!
Shantel plans to further her skills with a media or film degree in the United Kingdom, eventually becoming a media producer with her own shows.