This season was filled with much more events than the previous seasons. In Season 3, ACE GC partook in Run for Rights and Family Festival. Family Festival was fun, because it was in school and almost everyone was there. I remember that I didn’t eat much, but it was hilarious watching some of my friends from other GCs sell products or people in my own GC advertise a cotton bracelet as if it was worth millions. Run for Rights, however, I remember more vividly. I showed up, expecting to be a supporter and motivate those who were running around Bedok Reservoir (4.3km), wearing jeans. I hadn’t expected to run but when I saw everyone dressed in running gear, it was the most embarrassing thing. I still figured I could be a supporter, since it was obvious to everyone that I was new and hadn’t realised what I was supposed to do. But all that went away when I saw one of my Grade 2 buddies show up with her dad, decked out in all her running gear. Just seeing that melted my heart because, honestly, I didn’t even know how she knew about the event. She only ran about 30 metres before she stopped and walked with her dad, but I realised that if she could run, then so could I, even if it was in jeans. The fact is, this wasn’t a race. The learning point for me, was not that I had to be the fastest, but that I could show my support in any way possible, even if it was just walking the 4.3 km.
This season, I think was the most effective for me, in regards to building interpersonal skills. We had a new member, Molly, join our service and so I unofficially deferred my chair authority to her, since she was in Grade 12. It was a nice experience, having someone new, because it was almost as if we got to relive starting this service. One of the highlights for this season was the fact that I resolved my “beef” with one of the kids. For months, this little girl and I had some issues, to the point where I didn’t want her in my group, and she didn’t want to be near me. For some reason, one day, we just happened to be in the same group, and she called out to me and asked for help. This, somehow, instantly ended our beef and now we’ve become friends again. It’s petty, I know, considering the age difference, but this is me being honest. Another key moment from this season was that my group made me do the service video, despite all my contributions to our group. People started saying I do the least work, which is a complete lie, but I guess when you can have false information and preach it like its truth; if you have people supporting it, it becomes the truth. So I ended up doing the video, only after my football coach, told me to always see the opportunity to learn in every task given to me.
Being new to the school, I was also new to the idea of global concerns (GCs). I thought that it was a wonderful idea that we students could strive to make an impact on important issues in domestic and international communities. Thus, I decided to join the ACE GC. ACE works with an organization called JAAGO, who help provide education for underprivileged families in Bangladesh. This is something that I think is extremely important as all people deserve access to quality education, no matter their economic status.
After being part of this GC, for 2 seasons, I think the biggest thing that I’ve learnt is just the need for organization. I’m not really that organised of a person, I’ll admit it, but when I see our GC chair Fayyaz conduct our meetings, as well as have to deal with all the stress and pressures from the IB, it makes me question why I am not more organised in my life.
One disappointment this season was the fact that we had wanted to do the Holiday Fair which got cancelled. Even though me being new, I don’t know what the Holiday Fair was, I recognised that this was a prime source of funding for our GC which now put us in a vulnerable situation since our GC is almost completely based on funding the education of children. Our Goal this year is to reach $1750, which will help us continue to sponsor 5 children.
In order for me to develop myself as a gymnastics coach and help the kids enjoy themselves more, I decided to go to the gymnastics hall after school where I could observe the gymnastics coaches teach my fellow students. Since I had basketball training at 4:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays, I went to watch and help the coaches from about 3:10 to 4:15 on those days. Doing this definitely helped me because it allowed me to learn new and creative ways of making gymnastics fun for the children. I also learnt how to spot the children properly whilst they’re doing the gymnastics which now prepares me to make sure the children are safe whilst learning different moves.
In this service, me and eight of my peers work together to help teach 4-5 year olds how to do gymnastics and help ensure proper technique. I chose this service because I enjoy working with children and witnessing their development. Honestly speaking, I’m not very good at gymnastics (never have been), but I think that this will help me because I understand their struggles and I understand that feeling when your friends are able to do all different kinds of flips and you can’t. Additionally, the children we are working with come from lower income families and so – I’m someone that likes to laugh and spread positivity – I’m hoping we as a service can help be that source of joy and happiness for these children.
From amongst my peers, I have been elected as chair of the service. With this added responsibility, my goal this year is to improve my organisation and my responsibility. I’m not necessarily lazy, but sometimes I slack in my organisational skills and I think that being chair of the service will help me build that skill. It will also help me build my collaborative skills, which are essential when working in a group. Furthermore, working with children, especially them being so young, means that we as 16 year olds need to put their safety and ours (but mostly theirs) first and prioritise it before making them happy. I think in a situation like this, it’s possible for us to want to please them that we neglect the safety risks of the activities.