Jared used to be from a gang, When he was 15, he left the gang because of the trouble it was causing him. Fortunately for him, he was never found guilty of any serious offences.
Then, a friend who had received help from YGOS invited him to be a volunteer. Filled with passion to help others and value-add to the youths with his personal experience, Jared took up this role.
At the same time, Jared was also being mentored by one of the staff at YGOS, Steven. Initially, Jared felt uncomfortable to reveal his past to Steven. Whenever Steven tried to start a conversation with him, he would reply with one-word answers. However, despite Jared’s nonchalant attitude, Steven was not disheartened; he tried different ways and means to get to know Jared.
“As a volunteer, I started with befriending the youths that come for the Drop-In programme. During my school holidays, I signed up to be a short-term Project Servant with the aim of understanding the nature of work in YGOS. However, the stint did not go smoothly as I was usually late for work and often caused trouble.”
At that time, Jared’s parents were going through a divorce. Overwhelmed by the situation at home, Jared stopped coming to YGOS not long after. Concerned, his friend brought him to church, hoping that he would find some comfort and peace. Jared was surprised that he actually did. However, his decision to continue attending church service did not last long as he found it a drag to wake up early every Sunday morning.
“That was a very difficult period of my life. Steven also knew about my troubles and continued to guide me. Looking back, I am very thankful that he didn’t give up on me.”
"Though I eventually decided to work first after National Service, I often questioned myself if I made the right choice then. YGOS would always come to my mind. I even introduced my brother to join the YGOS Tchoukball team.”
Soon after, Jared was enlisted for National Service. It was during this period when he started to plan for his future.
“I was torn between going back to YGOS and working to earn money to further my education as I was only holding a NITEC qualification. Though I eventually decided to work first after National Service, I often questioned myself if I made the right choice then. YGOS would always come to my mind. I even introduced my brother to join the YGOS Tchoukball team.”
Following his heart, Jared became a staff at YGOS in 2015.
By: Jared (name has been changed to protect the author's privacy)
25 years-old, Current Staff, Former Youth Volunteer
- Photo by Adrian Dascal on Unsplash