Dad's ambush stories made him want to be a cop
As a child, he enjoyed car rides with his father, a former policeman, who regaled him with stories about ambushing criminals while hiding behind trees or staking them out in cars.
Those stories inspired Mr Sim Zheng Hao to be a cop.
Yesterday, Mr Sim, 21, and Ms Sundaram Mohan Shakthi, 19, were awarded the Singapore Police Force Scholarship (SPFS).
A total of 14 uniformed and civilian scholarships were awarded by the Ministry of Home Affairs at the SPFS and Home Team Scholarship award ceremony, held over video conference.
Guest-of-honour Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, K Shanmugam, also addressed the recipients and their families.
Mr Sim, who has two older sisters, said his ambition to become a cop was reinforced after volunteering at the Institute of Mental Health from 2017 to 2019, where he organised activities for the patients.
He said: "It inspired me to find a career that is meaningful where you can reach out to different pockets of society and listen to what they've been through and help them out the best that we can."
Ms Shakthi was inspired to be a police officer after officers responded to a domestic incident at her home when she was 16.
Her father, who had a history of being verbally abusive, was raising a ruckus at home.
Seeing how the officers went out of their way to care for her family had left a lasting impression on her.
She said: "That incident taught me that when people reach out to the police, it's usually because they have no other option, or because they can't really depend on anyone else.
"It made me realise the amount of trust (in the police) and it's something I decided I want to be a part of."
Ms Shakthi is also the second woman to receive the scholarship. She said: "Being a woman has an advantage in that I get to inspire future generations of women to join the force."
She will be pursuing psychology at Yale-National University of Singapore, while Mr Sim will read liberal arts at New York University in the US.