Teens rise to challenge of being reporters

The 13 students are seen here with their mentors, including Mr He (first row, left) and Ms Lee (third row, right), who guided them on their Chong Boon Market photo essay. Also pictured is TAC organiser Melvin Lim, (first row, right).
A photo booth was set up at Chong Boon Market in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 last Saturday. The students spent the morning persuading stallholders and customers to have their photos taken. They spent six weeks putting together a photo essay on Chong Boon market, which will be exhibited in the school today.PHOTO: THE APPRENTICESHIP COLLECTIVE
A photo booth was set up at Chong Boon Market in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 last Saturday. The students spent the morning persuading stallholders and customers to have their photos taken. They spent six weeks putting together a photo essay on Chong Boon ma
The 13 students are seen here with their mentors, including Mr He (first row, left) and Ms Lee (third row, right), who guided them on their Chong Boon Market photo essay. Also pictured is TAC organiser Melvin Lim, (first row, right).PHOTO: THE APPRENTICESHIP COLLECTIVE

These engaging portraits of Chong Boon Market hawkers were taken by teens who rose to the challenge of telling a local story, as part of an apprenticeship in journalism.

The profiles of the hawkers stand proudly in Chong Boon Secondary's school hall as a proud testimony of the work of the 13 students who signed up with The Apprenticeship Collective (TAC) just six weeks ago.

Secondary 3 student Lim Yan Shan said: "Through the programme, I found out that I could make strangers open up to me."

Before that assignment, the students' idea of journalism was mostly of American politics and pop stars, said Mr Samuel He, a 34-year-old film director, who helped teach the students.

With journalist Pearl Lee, 28, he created a curriculum for the Secondary 2 and 3 students under their care. Said Mr He: "We thought, 'Why not show them that there can be stories in their neighbourhood?'"


As part of a journalism mentorship programme, 13 Chong Boon Secondary School students worked on stories and portraits of hawkers and people at Chong Boon Market. These include (from left) Ms Narraihan Razali, 25; Ms Linda Kwok, 61; Mr Don Ang, 63; Mrs Teo Ah Muay, 74, and Madam Teo Lan Jeng, 80; Mr Tan Tong, 80; Madam Ng Pick Keow, 67; Mr Er Hak Kim, 55; and Madam Annie Tan, 67, with her nine-year-old grandson Jayden Goh. PHOTO: THE APPRENTICESHIP COLLECTIVE

TAC co-founder Marvin Kang said the programme aims to connect young students with working professionals to give them practical experience of a certain career and to explore their interests and passions.

About 65 students from eight apprenticeships in total are also exhibiting what they achieved over the past five weeks.

For more details on TAC, visit https://hellotac.org

Jose Hong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2017, with the headline 'Teens rise to challenge of being reporters'. Print Edition | Subscribe