I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver. I graduated with a Ph.D. in social welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Luskin School of Public Affairs under the National University of Singapore (NUS)-Overseas Graduate Scholarship. I previously graduated as valedictorian of the class of 2017 with a Master in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS.
Having worked in social work and non-profit settings with young people from low-income backgrounds, my overarching research goal is to improve the positive development and well-being of under-served adolescents, youth, and emerging adults who face disadvantages and marginalisation. By examining structural factors and contextual processes, my work reinforces the notion that collective systems – not individual identities – determine systemic inequities. My interest in youth development and well-being has led to two research trajectories centred on familial and community contexts. I also explore how families and communities use institutional supports and examine the factors and processes perpetuating poverty and inequality.
I am working on three primary projects right now (as of September 2022):
"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
Jin Yao Kwan © 2019-2021