So far, I have taken part in 5 Running Hour sessions. During these sessions, everyone is paired up with an intellectually or physically challenged person to either walk, jog or run around the national stadium track or pedestrian path from the national stadium to Marina Barrage. Each time, I have been paired up with a different person, mostly those that have a form of autism.
This is a different experience for me as I have not previously done local service with people before, but mostly with animals. Therefore, this was an unfamiliar environment that I learned to adapt to and in doing so, I developed the social skills necessary to interact with intellectually or physically challenged people. I have also developed friendships with some of them and so I can feel more connected to locals in Singapore with various personal challenges. In the photos below which was taken during the sessions, guides (non-challenged) and those with disabilities are all posing together which shows that the ability to adapt to the new environment to connect within the group.
By talking to those that I was helping, I have also increased my understanding of their situations and how they are affected by their disabilities. For example, I now understand more about their education and how different schools in Singapore are specially adapted to helping the intellectually and physically challenged. I also recognise the ethical issues that they face when finding employment as most of their options are limited to retail and service jobs. This contributes to my understanding of global issues as well since this isn’t only the case in Singapore.
In terms of Running Hour itself, the positive effects of volunteering to help those with disabilities are clear. Not only does this service give them the opportunity to do exercise in a secure environment with people looking out for their safety, but it also gives them the chance to connect with other people who have disabilities and even people who don’t have disabilities. One thing to take into consideration is the mental health of the disabled, especially if topics are brought up during conversation that are particularly sensitive to them. However, I believe that the advantages to them outweigh the possible negative effects.
For the first sports season of the year, I was placed in the U18B Volleyball team. Personally, since I only started volleyball about a year ago, this is a large achievement. I am very much looking forward to improving my volleyball techniques to increase my level of play.
Last year, I was on the U18C Volleyball team playing in a ‘middle’ position. This year, my coach is hoping to move me to a ‘setter’ position which will be a new experience for me. It will most likely be challenging at the start to adjust to a new position however I am excited to expand my skills in this area.
So far, we have had one practice as a team on Friday. This practice helped me to highlight my strengths as a player as well as the areas in which I could improve on, which was especially serving for me. This season, I’m also hoping to improve my communication on court as collaboration is especially important in volleyball. Collaboration comes from forming a good relationship with your team, I am also looking forward to this and forming new friendships within my team.
Sport Ready is a netball academy dedicated to developing netball skills and giving passionate players a chance to compete in competitions around Singapore. This is a club that I have joined outside of school and have been a part of for 1 and a half years now. The year is divided into two seasons with try-outs at the start of each season for team placement. This year, I was put into the first team which competes in an adult league on Monday evenings.
Since the team competes in an adult league, the standard of play is quite high and physically challenging. Receiving a placement in the second team is a good achievement where I can show my strengths in netball. However, there are some areas in which I can improve on. This season I am looking to develop techniques that I can use during game play and increase my spacial awareness on court as well as improve my shooting accuracy. Games against adult teams will inevitably be challenging, which will help me improve as a player and highlights areas of improvement for me.
The commitment to Monday evening games will also be difficult at times as I will have to maintain responsibility in other activities and service in addition to balancing academics. Nevertheless, I am very committed to netball as a sport and will be willing to adapt to any difficulties along the way.
Lydia and I discussed our thoughts after the cast list was revealed.
From July 16th to August 3rd, I did an internship at a company called Red Shoe Communications. They specialised in training senior executives in communications skills ranging from how to answer media interview questions to presenting to a boss or customer. My main supervisor for most of my internship was Kathy O’Brien (email@example.com). Although my internship was only three weeks, it was a great learning experience and I completed many tasks that helped both the company and my own personal growth.
My goals were to gain insight into work life, how skills learnt in school can be applied, and develop skills that I can use in the future. I think that most of the tasks that I was given matched these goals. I made sure to think about what I would gain from each task while I was doing it.
Quite a few of the projects I had were research tasks on individual clients, their companies, and major events in Singapore so that the trainers would have a summary of the information they needed. For individual clients, I familiarised myself with LinkedIn in order to gain useful information for Red Shoe. This research also enabled me to learn about how LinkedIn works as well as read samples of profile and job descriptions; I have been able to apply this knowledge to my own LinkedIn page as a result.
While researching companies, I compiled information from many different sources including the company’s own website as well as articles on recent company news. This allowed me to explore different types of companies and learn more about how each business and action affects others. I also researched major events such as the SingHealth cyber attack, the new PropellAsia proptech accelerator program and Broadcom’s decision to buy CA Technologies to find general information as well as opinions on these events. Through this research, I learned more about the events, broadening my knowledge on recent news. Additionally, I gained an understanding of opposing perspectives and how individuals and companies respond to these events. Overall, this research enabled me to learn more about companies as well as apply my research skills from school to see how they can be used in work life.
During my internship, I was able to attend one of Red Shoe’s workshops to make sure it ran smoothly. Therefore, I was able to take on the responsibility of making sure the workshop was a straightforward and trouble-free experience for the clients. However, I was also able to listen and learn some of the presentation and elevator pitch skills that were being taught which I will be able to put into practice in the future. Attending this workshop also enabled me to see the type of work that Red Shoe does and what training sessions look like.
One of my last few projects at Red Shoe was to create visually appealing social media content for a company event in collaboration wth Children of Peace International, an NGO that helps underprivileged children in Vietnam. My task was to think of media content and design posts. This allowed me to practice design skills. I had another similar project to this where my task was to find quotes that represented the company well and create content that they could post on LinkedIn using these quotes as well as photos I found online.
I also helped with various administrative tasks around the office during my internship, some examples being revising the agenda during a team meeting, organising Red Shoe’s library, updating their catalogue, packing for training workshops, filing workshop materials and feedback forms, and updating equipment such as iPads and powerpoint slide decks. These tasks all helped me gain insight into the operations of a company.
In addition, I have developed a deeper understanding of work ethics such as punctuality, and professionalism, as well as learnt the boundaries at which certain behaviours are acceptable for all levels within an organisation – including executives. I learned about the aforementioned boundaries more from discussions with family members about the ethics of some of my colleagues.
Overall, I think that my internship was a large learning experience and I have developed many of my skills that I will be able to use in the future as well as see how some of the work that we do in school can be applied to work life.
This week in Tabitha, I took on a leadership role of sorts where I contributed greatly to the discussion and made sure to organise the ideas from the group onto the minutes document. I brought my creativity to the meeting as I helped brainstorm ideas for improvements that we could make to the Tabitha gift certificates and the upcoming Holiday Fair. I was also innovative and took initiative by finding the reflections from last year’s Holiday Fair and explaining the things that we needed to work on this year. In this way, I used my previous experience to lead a discussion about planning for the event. Additionally, I took charge of recording the discussion digitally on the minutes document, showing my leadership and organisational skills. This helped the group as I was able to consolidate feasible ideas and note down everything so that we would be able to come back to it in order to refresh our memories instead of having to spend more time remembering our discussion and generating ideas again. Furthermore, I wrote a brief agenda for the next meeting so that we will have focus and know what needs to be done; therefore, we will be more efficient.
Overall, this week in Tabitha I was able to show my commitment and positive contribution to the Global Concern by taking on a leadership role in the meeting and using previous experience to look for areas that we can improve as a service group in general as well as during the upcoming Holiday Fair.
I’ve been playing netball since I was in Grade 4, which already shows that I am committed and passionate about netball.
In Grade 9, I joined pre-season netball and then the U19 A team. This helped me improve my fitness, netball skills and game play. Playing in the team was a great experience as I got to compete with players who were older and better than me, which helped me improve as not only a player but a person as well. I also played with new people that I hadn’t know before, and developed new friendships throughout the season. Teamwork and communication is a large part of netball as it is a team sport; playing helps me improve these skills not only for sports but in academics and projects where these skills can be applied.
I also represented UWC East in the SEANet games held annually at Tanglin Trust School. This means that I had to adapt to a new team and play against schools from foreign countries that produced new challenges and strengths. Due to the perseverance of myself and my team, we managed to win a silver medal despite having only one substitute throughout the weekend tournament for approximately ten games.
In addition, in Grade 9, I was in the ANZA Netball club, which is a leisure group to improve netball skills lasting for an entire year. My attendance showed my commitment to netball, and my passion for this sport.