In a survey conducted by the Straits Times in 2014, 6 in 10 young Singaporeans considered leaving Singapore to pursue their dreams. The results from that survey was reflective of how youths view the likelihood of pursuing their dreams in Singapore. Under the extensive influence of meritocracy in Singapore, it is inevitable that we measure our success and failures on conventional terms. We develop the tendency to judge another based on education levels and credentials. This has been ingrained in our culture and has thus, introduced another problem in our society - the cookie cutter culture. Any form of deviation is frowned upon.
As the integrated AOR for SHINE Festival, our main challenge is to position SHINE Festival as the main go-to platform for youth aspirations – to legitimize SHINE Festival in the eyes of the youths. Through SHINE Festival, we not only want to bring about the issues clouding our youths today but also to provide them with an platform to showcase what they are capable of on a national level. In order to do so, we need to shed light on this issue and change the perception of not only the youths but also their parents, their second degree of influences like educators and even policy- makers. Awareness is thus a critical first step to break this social stigma.