I am a PhD candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Luskin School of Public Affairs – under the National University of Singapore (NUS)-Overseas Graduate Scholarship – who graduated as valedictorian of the class of 2017 with a Master in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS.
My work broadly focuses on the positive development and well-being of adolescents and young adults, especially those from low-income and marginalised families. In particular, I examine the familial and community relationships to which they have access. Another research interest of mine includes youth civic engagement, which I study using the positive youth development framework.
I am working on three primary projects right now (as of February 2021):
"Singled out: The social capital and familial well-being of low-income single-parent families in Singapore". Funded by the Ministry of Social and Family Development of Singapore under the 2019 Social and Family Research Fund.
"Exploring the long-term effects of COVID-19 on youths in Singapore: Psychological well-being, employment and educational outlook, and civic engagement". Funded by the National Youth Council of Singapore under the National Youth Fund.
"The long-term outcomes of community service: The role of contribution among young adults in Singapore". Funded by the National Youth Council of Singapore under the National Youth Fund.
Having previously volunteered with the Association of Women for Action and Research, Children-At-Risk Empowerment Association Singapore, as well as the social empowerment initiative “I Am Talented”, I now volunteer or work with Singaporean charities on research projects and data analysis.
In addition, I am founder of and advisor to PREPMUN, Singapore's Model United Nations Preparatory Conference (organised by the United Nations Association of Singapore from 2011 to 2018), where we recently published a Singaporean guidebook to Model United Nations.
Finally, I have been working with Dr. Justin Lee of the Institute of Policy Studies on serve.sg, an open-source volunteer matching platform in Singapore. It is funded by the Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth, under the “Our Singapore Fund”.
I now run socialservice.sg, a website, podcast, and newsletter (tinyletter.com/socialservicesg) dedicated to social service research, practice, and policies in Singapore.
I had a personal socio-political blog (July 2009 to July 2019) which is now archived (guanyinmiao.wordpress.com). I previously also wrote for three now-defunct sites: the “Breakfast Network” in 2013 and “The Middle Ground” from 2015 to 2016 as well as “SALT”, an online publication by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre in 2014.
These archived posts best represent who I am as a blogger (at my best and worst):
Personal Posts and Contributions