My Story (我的故事)

“All youth are motivated to do something; contrary to what many adults may think.”


When I was growing up, I always feared my dad. I was caned and disciplined by him strictly. As a result, I kept to myself a lot and focused on the things I liked to do – mostly play when I was younger. This affected my academic performance significantly, and found myself eligible for secondary schools that not many would like to be associated with then. This devastated my mum, as she had worked hard and endured much to provide the best for me. I disappointed her, and felt I shamed myself. There was no one else to blame but myself.

By today’s standard, I was highly at-risk of harming myself in many ways. Home was a fearful place to return to. I was resentful and blamed myself a lot. I questioned my self-worth and abilities constantly. I was quiet and quite a passive-aggressive kind of person.

Unlike those who might feel better expressing their anger and other strong emotions outwardly, like fighting; I had the tendency to implode by way of isolating myself socially. I had poor social skills and interaction with people or socializing was a problem. I often felt out-of-place or outcast; I did not feel belonged.

Outwardly, no one would guess I was deeply troubled; let alone think I needed help. Throughout the entire time, there was one person who always believed in me, and encouraged me along; my mum! Through my academic and relationship failures, I always had that quiet and unwavering support at the back. And I felt that without it, I would not have overcame the numerous challenges in my life, and I would have perished without even a single soul knowing my existence.

I was obviously motivated to do a lot of things, but never motivated to study. I was motivated in my extra-curriculum activities, which I had numerous; I was motivated in church activities, which I was heavily committed to; but I was the least motivated in my studies.

I can always remember how crushed my mum was towards how I had wasted my life away, despite her tremendous efforts to see me through having a good education. Being my avid supporter throughout those challenging years in Secondary school, I graduated not only the top of my school cohort academically, I also received the colors or merit awards for having accomplished significant success in all my extra-curriculum activities as well – like being the head prefect of the school, the overall in-command for the National Cadet Corp (Land) of my unit, and being the Unit Drill Instructor, among many others.

I continue to take on leadership roles later on in life, with the added knowledge and experience of what I have gone through in my own life and how I overcame life adversities and challenges.

In all the challenges that children or youth faces and encounter, I could connect and identify with it very quickly; and with the added professional training and experience, I could assist both youth and parents very quickly to re-establish some form of stability in their relationship with each other, and or to re-connect them at a new level.

It has been decades since that fateful day I chose to make a turnaround in my life in Secondary school; that day is still so clear in my mind. This continues to be my driving force to make a difference in the lives of children or youth and their families, especially, when their family members want and can be their avid supporter through challenging times.

I know for sure that even if it is that one supporter, that one adult who believes in him or her, the child or youth has a very good chance of succeeding in life.

“If there was an adult who believes in the youth, he or she has a good chance to succeed in life”


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