SINGAPORE - Bringing people of different faiths closer through the medium of theatre: that is the aim of theatre practitioner Nabila Abu Talib, who is one of two top winners of the Goh Chok Tong Youth Promise Awards.
The study awards are given by self-help group Mendaki to Malay-Muslim youth under 35 who excel in non-traditional academic fields such as performing arts and design.
While doing her bachelor's degree in drama, applied theatre and education in Britain from 2011 to this year, the 22-year-old took part in various inter-faith theatre workshops.
Her interactions with the workshop participants of different backgrounds spurred her to consider tapping the potential of theatre to build community.
At the award ceremony yesterday, Ms Nabila received $30,000 of funding to pursue a master's degree in education at Cambridge University.
The other top award winner was editor of lifestyle magazine Vulture, Mr Nabil Aliffi, 22, who will study fashion management at the London College of Fashion.
Four others - a dancer, a pianist, a video producer and a sprinter - received merit awards for local study.
At the same ceremony, 18 secondary and polytechnic students, like rock-climber Nadhrah Yusri, 17, of Outram Secondary School, received special awards for achievements in international or national competitions. Nadhrah topped a national school speed-climbing championship earlier this year.
At the ceremony, the guest of honour, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, also announced that a network of Goh Chok Tong Youth Promise Award recipients would be set up.
"As a community, we need to go beyond just acknowledging and celebrating our youths who excel. We need to actively nurture and develop these young people.
"(The alumni) have the ability, experience and expertise to be mentors not only to other members of the alumni, but also to other youths who show potential and need the proper guidance," Dr Yaacob said.
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