Being born deaf did not deter Rosalind Foo Yen Ping, SUSS Counselling student, to volunteer actively in multiple organisations, including SUSS. In recognition of her active and positive volunteering spirit, she was one of the awardees of the prestigious Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards (GCTEA) – UBS Promise, which celebrates the achievements and promise of exceptional persons with disabilities.
Learn more about her winning the award and her journey with SUSS from the interview below:
SUSS: What were you recognised for at the GCTEA?
Rosalind: I was recognised for my volunteering work and lifelong learning attitude. Apart from volunteering activities in SUSS and external organisations, I also serve as a volunteer at the TOUCH Silent Club under TOUCH Community Services for the past 20 years. I have just completed a peer support specialist course from the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and look forward to learning more courses next time.
SUSS: How did you feel about being nominated for the GCTEA and what are some takeaways from this achievement?
Rosalind meeting the President of Singapore, Madam Halimah Yacob, at the Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards 2021 Award Ceremony.
Rosalind: I was surprised when I learnt about the nomination for the GCTEA! I was privileged to have meet some very important people in Singapore – Emeritus Minister Goh Chok Tong and President of Singapore, Madam Halimah Yacob – for the first time ever in my life!
I am glad that my volunteering spirit is recognised. I hope to motivate others to do what they want to do.
Overall, I am deeply humbled and thankful to SUSS for their huge support for me to work hard to graduate soon!
SUSS: Why did you choose SUSS and how has it developed or assisted with your work/external activities?
Rosalind: I was interested in doing a degree in Counselling to gain proper knowledge about counselling and build skills to work in the counselling field. I thought counselling is also useful in my personal life since I am Deaf and would be able to counsel myself through the difficult journey.
Rosalind and her schoolmates at a school event.
SUSS: Please share your personal experience studying at SUSS.
Rosalind: When I applied for the Bachelor of Counselling programme at SUSS, I had to go through an interview. That was when I met a wonderful person, Dr Cecilia Soong, Head of Programme for Bachelor of Counselling (BCOU). She was very motivating and supportive to me when she first knew that I am totally Deaf.
Whenever I had issues, I would write to her via email or meet in person to discuss. She was also patient with me as I also face my own personal struggles.
Additionally, I have met many nice lecturers at SUSS who showed empathy and understanding towards my Deaf needs. I have also made some friends with hearing needs without much issues. They see great positivity in me when we interact with each other.
Rosalind volunteering at the SUSS Student Orientation.
I began volunteering to teach sign language to students in BCOU during semester breaks. It helped us to know each other better. I also helped out at the Counselling booth during the Student Orientation events. I enjoyed seeing new faces although I knew I could not communicate through speaking well.
My other great experience was that I was introduced to volunteering at Feiyue Community Service through my friend who is from the Bachelor of Social Work department in SUSS. She needed my help to translate into sign language for deaf clients going through counselling.
I believe volunteering is no barrier to me and other people as long as we have fun getting along with one other. I receive feedback from students that they enjoy learning sign language for free!
SUSS: What are your future hopes and aspirations for the Deaf community in Singapore?
Behind the scenes of a filming scene where Rosalind was featured in a video for SUSS.
Rosalind: I hope to provide support to the Deaf clients in the counselling field and lend support to counsellors who may encounter difficulties reaching out to Deaf clients. I also plan to upgrade my skills in the counselling field, and look into helping the Deaf community though organising seminars to understand the importance of counselling.