USP student Teoh Xin Yi (FASS + USP, Class of 2021) won the second prize in The New York Times Asia-Pacific Writing Competition 2017, under the tertiary category.

The New York Times Asia-Pacific Writing Competition was established in 2009 to encourage students to become more informed and globally minded about important issues in the region and around the world. As part of the competition, students are encouraged to read The New York Times and draw from other resources to better understand an issue. For 2017, the theme was “Migration”. Tertiary and secondary school students across the Asia Pacific were invited to submit a 500-word opinion piece responding to the question “Can people still achieve a better life through migration in 2017?”

Xin Yi’s article titled “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” stood out among many entries. When asked what inspired her to discuss the topic, she said, “I find that migrants face a lot of problems. The migrants I had in mind are those like economic or wartime refugees. Unavoidable circumstances caused by powers out of their control forced them out of their homes. They leave skeletons and memories behind, often only to emerge as a hated alien in a new land. To read about their suffering is simultaneously frustrating and devastating. As an individual too powerless to really deal with any of these huge transnational events, all I can do is pour my thoughts out. And thus I decided to write a small piece, I suppose.”

Well done, Xin Yi!

Click HERE to read her winning article (on page 18).


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Xin Yi received a certificate of Recognition, a Trophy, an Amazon voucher and a commemorative booklet containing all the winning and shortlisted essays. Congratulations!


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Xin Yi (right) receiving her award from Ms Fern Long (left), The New York Times Asia Pacific Head of Education & Corporate Digital.