Miss Universe Singapore 2018: Sharin Keong advocates education for all children
Pre-school teacher, 26
Miss Sharin Keong is no stranger to modelling competitions, having won The New Paper New Face in 2012 and having been a contestant on reality TV modelling series Supermodelme in 2014.
Today, she is a preschool teacher, holding a diploma in the Montessori method of education. Next year, she will be pursuing a degree in early childhood education.
The 26-year-old believes that the Miss Universe Singapore stage is the perfect platform to raise awareness for her cause - education for all.
On a trip to a rural area in Bangkok in March, she noticed the children there selling items on the streets to make money. She then started to learn Thai so that she could volunteer to teach English to the little ones there.
I strongly believe that all children, regardless of sex, background, culture or country, should receive some form of basic education, more critically in their early years, from zero to six years of age.
The experience spurred her to join the pageant.
What cause do you want to champion in MUS 2018?
Education for all, especially for children from low-income families. I strongly believe that all children, regardless of sex, background, culture or country, should receive some form of basic education, more critically in their early years, from zero to six years of age. A child's foundation is in his early years. If we deprive a child of it, how far can a child go?
I love the satisfaction it gives me when children never stop learning, and I will not stop learning from them too.
If you could change anything in this world, what would it be and why?
I would love for all girls to receive education. In many countries, girls are still not offered such an opportunity because people assume that the role of a woman is to take care of the family and the man should be the one with a career.
In modern society, women are given equal rights in the workforce. If girls are not educated from young, they might not have an advantage should they seek to join the workforce.
Do you have any special talent?
I am compassionate and loving towards young children. I am just good with children. Let me be with a child and I will quickly form a bond with him or her.
What is the proudest achievement in your life and what did it teach you?
Witnessing my first batch of children graduating from pre-school. It may seem like something small, but it was so meaningful to me. I had walked alongside my 21 children, watching them grow up, and there they were onstage, receiving their certifications.
That taught me to never give up on educating children. I love the satisfaction it gives me when children never stop learning, and I will not stop learning from them too.