Jaden is a 14-year-old youth who regularly participates in the Youth Drop-In at YGOS Ang Mo Kio Centre for the past year. “It’s my third favourite place in Singapore! It’s the place that I spend the most time at, besides my home and school.”
Jaden likes the engagement at the Drop-In Centre. As a boy who isn’t really fond of homework and studying in general, Jaden finds fun in the games and comfort in the relationships YGOS offer.
“I am particularly close to Sean, my mentor. My favourite memory with him is learning how to play pool.” What Jaden also finds comforting about his relationship with Sean is the values that Sean imparted to him. He sees value in mentoring and being mentored. Plus, Jaden shares that he is now much more patient and has better self-control.
“My Dad was never around. I wasn’t on talking terms with him.”
This image of Jaden today stands in stark contrast to who he was a few years ago. Easily angered, 13-year-old Jaden would throw chairs around in class and beat his classmates in retaliation when they made fun of him. Back at home, he also couldn’t get along well with some of his family members, especially his dad. “My Dad was never around. I wasn’t on talking terms with him.”
Now, the situation at home has gotten better: Jaden takes the initiative to talk to his Dad even though there are times when his Dad won’t reply him. Jaden is still as close to his mum.
At YGOS, Jaden initially did struggle to make friends with the people around him. As time progressed, there were also some friends who stopped coming for the Youth Drop-in programme.
“It was a bit disheartening...but I’m staying on because of the relationships I have with Sean and the other staff here.” As much as Jaden enjoys his time with YGOS, the organisation is still only one facet of his life. Some other interesting facts: Jaden wants to build a spacecraft for NASA in the future; he is extremely protective of his sister and he is now more engaged in school with CCAs like NCC to keep him occupied.
14 years-old, Experiential Learning and Mentoring Programme (ELMP), Drop-In
*Name has been changed to protect client's privacy
- Photo by jcomp via Freepik