Our Story
Inspiring Positive Social Change
M Sharni
Speech-Language Therapist
Published on 23/03/23
A career in social service allows you to leave a positive impact on people in more ways than one, as Social Service Scholar, M Sharni, would attest to.
M Sharni helps children and youths verbalise better in her role as a Speech-Language Therapist at the SPD Therapy Hub. She is a Social Service Scholar and holds a Master of Speech Language Pathology from National University of Singapore.

Sharni is a Speech-Language Therapist at SPD, a social service agency for adults, youth and children with disabilities.

Sharni is a recipient of the Social Service Scholarship, which is administered by the National Council of Social Services (NCSS), the umbrella body for social service agencies in Singapore.
We caught up with her, who shared her experiences in social service.
What sparked your interest in social service?

During my volunteering experiences, I interacted with children with developmental needs and realised that some of them faced difficulties with using speech to communicate effectively, which led to frustrations and meltdowns. I really wanted to help them, so I started researching and that led me to discover speech therapy.

How did you find out about the Social Service Scholarship?

I came across the scholarship on the NCSS and BrightSparks website. I accepted this scholarship as it could provide me with greater learning opportunities and the chance to be rotated to different social service agencies, or different departments within a Therapy Hub (Therapy Hubs hire, train and deploy physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech-language therapists to serve programmes in social service).

What opportunities did you receive with the Social Service Scholarship?

The Social Service Scholarship allowed me to meet and network with other scholars studying Speech and Language Therapy at other universities. The friendships I forged were helpful as we could discuss cases and personal experiences, as well as provide emotional and academic support for each other. The monthly allowance provided by NCSS was also a bonus in funding the purchase of any educational or therapy materials I needed in my academic journey.

Tell us more about your role as a speech-language therapist in a social service agency.

I am currently a speech-language therapist at SPD’s Continuing Therapy Programme (CTP) serving children with communication difficulties and their caregivers in a one-to-one setting. I conduct assessments, set goals and provide intervention for a range of clients with various diagnoses from Special Education schools and mainstream schools.

Can you share with us a memorable experience that you have had?

I worked with a four-year-old boy with developmental delays. He was unable to speak and had trouble expressing his needs and wants. I helped him verbalise speech sounds and eventually, the child was able to say his first meaningful word in a session. The joy on the child’s and parents’ faces was both memorable and rewarding to me. This made me realise the difference we can make to improve the lives of both children and their families.

What advice would you give to those who are considering the Social Service Scholarship?

This is one of the best scholarships available if you are interested in working in social service. It provides great career and learning opportunities, with the opportunity to be assigned to different agencies. The scholarship offers the platform to meet like-minded individuals who share a similar passion.

To find out more about scholarships, please click here https://www.ncss.gov.sg/social-service-careers/scholarship-and-awards

This article was first published in BrightSparks July 2022 magazine. Reproduced with permission from CareerBuilder (Singapore) Pte Ltd