Story by Avelyn Ng
Poh Yong Shun, now 20, was a soft-spoken youth during his secondary school days. That started to change after he became a committee member for nEbO’s Care Community, where he brought his ideas to life in ground-up projects and rallied his peers to join him.
One such example was the Thank Your Intern Day (TYID) 2016, where he served as the chairperson of the organising committee. Yong Shun garnered overwhelming interest from his course mates in human resource management with psychology (DHRMP) at Republic Polytechnic. Together, they embarked on a challenge to set a new direction for the fourth instalment of TYID.
“In 2016, we wanted to go beyond raising awareness and create meaningful engagement between the employers and interns. Our aim is to debunk misconceptions, deepen understanding on workplace challenges and exchange personal experiences,” said Yong Shun.
The committee organised sharing sessions in the lead-up to TYID 2016, culminating in an interactive forum where panellists from ITE College Central, Singapore National Employers Federation and Singapore University of Technology and Design’s human resource department addressed concerns regarding internship from both the employers’ and interns’ perspectives.
“By mobilising the youths and empowering them to conceptualise most of the activities, nEbO builds their creativity, teamwork, leadership and problem-solving skills. Their efforts complement our curriculum by giving the students a very good understanding of what they need to do to stay relevant as future HR practitioners,” said Republic Polytechnic DHRMP Programme Chair Beatrice Tan.
For the next instalment, Yong Shun hopes TYID can gather attendees from more industries and small companies to help youths from various fields gain relevant insights and seek internship opportunities during networking sessions.
Tan Yan Ning, 24, is now working as a special needs teacher at Metta School. The business administration degree-holder said her career choice may have been very different, if not for the exposure she received from nEbO.
One of her first contributions to nEbO was in 2009, where she sat as a committee member for Ways In Sharing Happiness (W.I.S.H). A project to revamp poor living conditions, Paint A New Hope, was born there.
“We recced for houses that needed our help and saw many families literally with just a roof over their heads. A lot of the homes were infested with pests, and were messy and dirty. Sometimes, it was a big family forced by circumstances to live in a small space, other times it was lonely elderly living on biscuits and neglecting their quality of life. We had to educate them in their language and in a sensitive way,” said Yan Ning.
Passionate about the cause, she went through nEbO’s leadership programme LEAD (Learn, Engage And Develop) and started several initiatives such as collecting food donations for the underprivileged and visiting old folks’ homes to provide company.
“The needs of these people are underserved and I want to do more. I also picked up a lot of transferable event-planning and social skills in the process,” said Yan Ning.
Sebastian Tay, 30, first got acquainted with nEbO eight years ago through its sports community. An avid bowler, he represented nEbO in several competitions and mentored others in the bowling interest group.
Upon graduation from nEbO five years ago, Sebastian joined Young NTUC Junior Circle (YNJC), a leadership transition programme for graduated nEbO leaders to flow in to serve in the Young NTUC community.
“I went through four phases in nEbO – participating, organising, leading and mentoring. Now at Young NTUC, the cycle restarts. As part of my development, I get to evaluate nEbO youth-initiated projects and administer the Young NTUC Seed Funding for them. Now that I’m a working adult, I attend talks to understand issues in the workforce and learn new skills,” said Sebastian.
He also encouraged his friends and family to join the Labour Movement. Many of his bowling mates are in U Sports and his sister is a nEbO alumni too.
Want to find out more about their journey with nEbO? Check out Yan Ning’s story here!
Continue to watch this space as we will be adding videos of Yong Shun’s and Sebastian’s stories soon.
Additionally, here are more nuggets about nEbO’s exciting 10th birthday! Click on the link here now to read more!