Proud Parents Celebrate Achievements of Youth-at-Risk

Celebrating Our Youth (16 Mar 2022) 10

These youth were faced with various life challenges, including depression, bullying, bad influence and crime, among others. Yet, they remained determined to carve a path to a better future and dedicated themselves to learning a skill and working on self-development. At YMCA of Singapore’s first-ever Honour Luncheon, we celebrated the achievements of the youth from the YMCA Project Bridge Vocational and Soft Skills Programme (VaSSP) this year. The youths’ parents and guardians were invited to witness their growth and celebrated how far they have come after completing the first milestone of VaSSP. The event was also attended by our partners, donors and supporters of the programme.

This event is the first of a series of three luncheons the YMCA will be holding as part of their 120th anniversary celebrations. While the various programmes focus on strengthening youth through social development, gainful employment, volunteerism and leadership, the luncheons celebrate and encourage these clients on their progress and accomplishments. The other luncheons will celebrate youth with special needs and youth volunteers.

Last year, the YMCA VaSSP also commemorated its 10th year anniversary. The 6-month youth intervention programme equips out-of-school youth with skills that increase employability. The youth undergo vocational and soft skills training, including practical skills like writing resumés and going for interviews, and a vocational course conducted by industry partners, including options such as hairdressing, culinary arts, or early childhood enrichment, among others. A social worker also provides social and emotional support, and career counselling throughout the process. To date, the programme has uplifted over 700 youths, supporting them in securing employment or returning to further studies.

As part of YMCA’s 120th anniversary, YMCA is also recruiting Volunteer Members to put in at least 120 minutes of volunteerism this year. These volunteers will have the opportunity to serve the community and interact with our clients to gain a better understanding of the social issues in Singapore.

“Here at the YMCA, we believe in enhancing our clients’ strengths to help them reach their full potential and rise above their challenges. Over the years, our youth clients have worked extremely hard and displayed tremendous growth. Their perseverance has served as an inspiration to many. We hope to raise awareness for our different youth groups so more people can see their positive qualities and to inspire those in need not to give up hope,” said Steve Loh, General Secretary & CEO, YMCA of Singapore.

Contributed by Sim Yu Xiang