The Pay-It-Forward (PIF) Mentorship Programme 2021’s Closing Ceremony was the culmination of YWLC’s flagship PIF programme. This year’s PIF programme matched 34 pairs of mentors and mentees from various industries and backgrounds with each other. Despite the tough restrictions in Singapore, our specially curated pairs managed to meet up both virtually and in-person.
Here are the summarised key takeaways from the three workshops attended by participants:
Financial Literacy with Priscilla Pang (22 May) The importance of starting healthy investment habits at a young age.
Confidence Building workshop with Nadia Espinosa (17 Jul) To cultivate confidence and self-esteem, we should embrace ourselves because “no one can be you the way that you can be you”.
Building Resilience workshop by Ratna Juita (14 Aug) Mental well-being and resilience are necessary to bounce back from setbacks, particularly during tough times like COVID. We can develop more efficient problem-solving skills by having the right mindset.
A highlight of the closing ceremony featured a segment where mentors and mentees wrote a “Letter to Your Future Self”. This segment provided valuable time for our mentor-mentee pairs to pen their thoughts to provide some introspection and valuable reminders to their future selves. The letter would be received six months later, allowing for meaningful thoughts and perspectives to be revisited despite the hectic pace of life.
Invited speaker Arfat Selvam, Mentorship Committee Chair at IWF Singapore, shared her thoughts on how the PIF programme demonstrated resilience:
1) Adapting to the changes as a result of COVID.
Building resilience takes time and consistency. She noted that Singapore would soon adopt stricter safe management measures, but that we were in a good position compared to many other countries. We can be resilient by trying to make life as normal as possible for ourselves.
A good example was the PIF programme, which has transitioned over the years from in-person sessions to virtual engagements. She was heartened that the mentorship maintained its high standards of involvement in spite of the new format and thanked YWLC, the organising committee and the mentors for their participation in the programme.
Similarly, the mentees demonstrated their resilience in managing their time between part-time work and their studies to participate in this mentorship programme. She applauded their willingness to move out of their comfort zones and highlighted the importance of mentorship in the process of moving to the next stage of life or in career development.
2) The Definition of Resilience
Arfat shared that resilience was the keen awareness of being in a difficult situation and trying to resolve it in a detached and compassionate manner. Awareness is especially important to keep one’s cool, to be self-assured to keep moving forward.
In particular, she paid special tribute to a pair of mentor-mentee, Casherine Goh and Keerthana Janmugam, from PIF 2020, who formed close bonds and continue to keep in touch today. Keerthana has since stepped up to be a co-lead for YWLC’s Female and Fearless 2021. Arfat thanked the mentor Casherine Goh for inspiring and encouraging Keerthana, confident that the strong bonds built would last a lifetime.
3) Framing our mindset is key to focusing better.
“The mind is like a clock, moving at its own constant pace in the midst of a swirling snowstorm.” The strong visual imagery evoked from Arfat’s favourite mantra reminds us of the importance of being mindful. When we are conscious of our own routines, we would have a clearer mind to manage challenging situations better.
YWLC’s PIF Mentorship Programme is a 6-month mentorship programme in partnership with the International Women’s Forum (IWF) and ITE College Central. YWLC members mentor budding young adults from IWF and ITE that are driven to learn. Mentor-mentee pairs from this programme consistently learn and bring out the best from each other.
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