Sota's first two PSC scholars

SINGAPORE - These young go-getters are pioneers again.

Miss Ruby Thiagarajan and Miss Charis Tan were part of the first batch to start at the School of the Arts, Singapore (Sota) in 2008.

On Tuesday, the 19-year-olds also became the first Sota students to become Public Service Commission scholars.

They achieved stellar results in the International Baccalaureate examinations - out of a possible 45, Miss Thiagarajan scored an exceptional 44, while Miss Tan got 38.

Both are poised to go abroad for further studies.

Miss Thiagarajan will be pursuing her studies in social sciences at the Paris Institute of Political Science in France, while Miss Tan will be heading to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, US, to major in music.

Both students spoke about the holistic programme offered at Sota as significant in their development and growth as students.

Miss Thiagarajan, who studied theatre at Sota, said: "It was a very intensive programme where you get to immerse yourself among all these people who are all here for art."


Miss Tan, who was from the music track, said the interdisciplinary curriculum gave students the chance to organise events.

She said: "We were definitely very self-initiated. We got to run our own concerts and to challenge the conventions while bringing different themes across in our performances."

For the two girls, who once collaborated on an interdisciplinary production Together Together, which was held at the Esplanade, public service was always at the forefront of their minds.

Miss Thiagarajan said: "I was only interested in this scholarship. I saw it as (the start of) the most meaningful career for me. In future, there are many options but I could sign up for policy writing as one of them."

Sota vice-principal of development Yap Meen Sheng, 55, said the scholarships were an affirmation of the school's art-centred curriculum.

Dr Yap said: "We look to develop students holistically in the arts and academics, but also in leadership domains to be thinkers. This recognises not just students from arts schools but the larger community with artistic dispositions as well."

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