Empowerment programme at ITE for Malay-Muslims helps student excel

As a mentee of the Empowerment Programme @ ITE, Muhammad Roth Isaac Rothman was assigned a mentor to check on him and offer support. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - When he saw how his father's earnings took a hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, Muhammad Roth Isaac Rothman knew he had to step up to ease the burden of the sole breadwinner.

The 18-year-old started delivering food alongside his dad, while waiting for his studies to commence at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West. Now as a second year student, he still helps with deliveries after school and on the weekends.

Although it was stressful, Isaac said he never felt that it was too tough or tiring to endure. "I am young and motivated to help my family, and I also wanted to spend time with my dad while working," the second year automotive technology student said.

As a mentee of the Empowerment Programme @ ITE, Isaac was assigned a mentor to check on him and offer support. The programme was started in 2019, aimed at supporting students undergoing Nitec courses.

On Thursday (March 10), Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Defence, and Mendaki deputy chairman Zaqy Mohamad announced that the programme will be refreshed to #amPowered@ITE to be better tailored to the unique needs of mentees.

Isaac said that although his mentoring was done through messages or calls due to Covid-19 restrictions, he appreciated the support.

"It was really nice to have someone checking in on me and asking how my day was. It made me feel that my existence mattered in this world," Isaac added.

Isaac holds many leadership roles on top of being a student, such as being the class chairman, president for his co-curricular activity Boys Brigade Primers, and vice-president of the school's programme for outstanding students, Ace.

He said: "Some challenges I face are sacrificing my family time, and having to juggle my studies and all my responsibilities taking the leadership roles."

"Despite having these challenges, I have friends, teammates and teachers looking out for and assisting me," he added.

After achieving a GPA of 3.7 at the end of his first year, Isaac is motivated to work harder and plans to further his studies to support his family.

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