Life-changing decisions can sometimes be made in the blink of an eye.
For instance, when Clara Chee signed up for Interact Club, a service-learning co-curricular activity in junior college, little did she know that she was setting off on a volunteering journey.
Along the way, she learnt about compassion and forged a firm friendship with a female patient at the Institute of Mental Health.
“In her own quiet way, she taught me what it meant to view people with an open heart and an open mind,” recalls Clara.
She later joined Youth Corps Singapore as an intern, where she planned volunteering events, picked up many new skills and gained confidence.
Now a first-year student at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the 19-year-old remains an active Youth Corps volunteer, and also rallies her peers in school to give back to the community through NTU’s Welfare Services Club and SPARKZ, a one-day camp for deaf children and children of deaf adults.
"It was so much fun getting into costume and putting on make-up and answering all the cheeky, inquisitive questions from the children. I still remember one child asking me: ‘Excuse me Ah Hong! Why do you have earrings as a samsui woman? Did you travel back in time to buy them?’"
Clara talks about her experience with Youth Corps Singapore and the lessons she learnt:
What was your internship experience at Youth Corps Singapore like?
My four-month stint began in March last year, while I was waiting to enter university.
I was part of the Journey Crafters team, where I focused on volunteer engagement and marketing. My colleagues included me in their meetings with community partners and I got to learn more about organisations in the social service sector and the viewpoints of different stakeholders.
One of my major projects was organising the “A Walk to Remember” community service event.
Tell us more about A Walk to Remember (AWTR).
AWTR provides young people with the opportunity to play the role of a ‘big brother/sister’ to children from diverse family backgrounds through heritage trails. This is in partnership with National Heritage Board and runs every school holiday.
You were also one of the Youth Overall In Charge for the event. How was that like?
It was the first time I was entrusted with so much autonomy to make decisions, lead the group and stick closely to the programme.
I am very thankful that my colleagues in Youth Corps had so much faith in me. Getting messages from the volunteers telling me I had done a good job — and even inspired them — was also extremely heartwarming.
Why should someone join Youth Corps Singapore?
They have a huge variety of volunteering opportunities for many different causes, both long-term and short-term. The community is very passionate, supportive and family-like.
If you are just starting out as a volunteer, Youth Corps is a good platform for you to explore the various causes available to see where your passion lies.
Give and receive
"Many times, as volunteers, we go in thinking that we will be the ones helping others or teaching them a new skill. But really, more often than not, you'll find that everyone has something to teach you, regardless of who they are or where they are from. You'll gain much more than you can give, if you let yourself."
– Clara Chee, Youth Corps Singapore volunteer
Ignite positive change today! www.youthcorps.sg