The 2023 edition of YWLC's Pay-It-Forward (PIF) mentorship programme kicked off with a splash on 15th April! Set in official partner EY's stunning office, this year's programme boasts the largest cohort ever at 40 mentees. Notably, students from ITE College East joined for the first time, alongside mentees from International Women’s Forum (IWF) Singapore and ITE College Central. The overwhelming number of YWLC members who applied to be mentors, the highest in the programme's seven-year history, has also warmed the hearts of the Social Impact team.
Mentoring youths, especially those from less advantaged backgrounds, is a key mission of YWLC’s Social Impact arm, as it empowers them to overcome challenges, develop skills, and realise their full potential. This 6-month programme seeks to do so this via 1-on-1 mentorship and a series of workshops on building confidence, building resilience and encouraging career discovery.
Intrigued to discover the journeys these participants have embarked upon since the programme's launch? Read on to find out.
The opening ceremony of PIF23 was a dynamic affair, serving as more than just a casual introduction between mentee-mentor pairs. It aimed to foster a tight-knit community while equipping participants with invaluable insights and tools to maximise their mentoring experiences. The atmosphere buzzed with excitement as participants met their unique "mentoring tribes," and were captivated by stories shared by mentor-mentee duos from past editions of the programme. Mentors and mentees were also equipped with guidebooks and training sessions on how to approach and structure their mentoring relationships for optimal growth and success.
The event didn't stop there. Participants heard from accomplished senior leaders from ITE, EY, and YWLC, who shared firsthand accounts of how mentoring had propelled their own career trajectories and personal development.
The opening ceremony set the stage for a meaningful and enriching journey for the next 6 months.
Workshop: Rising Above Challenges
On 3rd June, participants returned to EY for a workshop on rising above challenges. Led by Rae Fung, an renowned professional host, speaker, and global voice coach, this workshop left an indelible mark on all who attended.
From struggling academically to standing confidently on the global stage, Rae has transformed her life by acknowledging her self-worth and honing her unique gifts. She fearlessly shared her invaluable life lessons, delivering nuggets of wisdom such as "rejection is redirection" and "turn your pain into passion—the flames will take you far."
Rae guided participants to reflect upon their own moments of adversity, encouraging them to reframe those experiences and embrace the lessons learned. Mentors and mentees then formed smaller groups, engaging in heartfelt conversations about their shared insights and growth. Witnessing our shy mentees bravely opening up, being supported, and uplifted by their peers, was a powerful testament to the strength of this community.
Rae concluded the workshop with a poignant reminder: "being perfect gives you no personality." Participants were reminded that we are all beautifully flawed works in progress, each with unique stories to tell and experiences to embrace.
After a break, Sarah Thang and Claudia Ruth Selvakumar took the stage, sharing the extraordinary challenges and journeys they’ve been through. Their stories showed participants that success can be achieved through diverse routes. PIF mentees absorbed these invaluable lessons, learning the importance of continuous growth and unwavering belief even in the face of adversity.
Participants left the event armed with newfound confidence and the understanding that their adversity is not something to be afraid or ashamed of, but rather celebrated as powerful tools for personal growth and empowerment.
Upcoming PIF events
What do participants have to look forward to in the remaining months? On 15th July, mentors and mentees will explore a captivating human library, engaging with "books" from diverse paths to gain unique insights. Get a sneak peek at snapshots from PIF22's Human Library below! Thereafter, a workshop on personal branding will be held to empower mentees to shape their narratives, before the programme culminates in an enjoyable closing ceremony in October 2023.
YWLC’s PIF Mentorship Programme is a 6-month mentorship programme in partnership with IWF and ITE. YWLC members mentor young women from IWF and ITE that are driven to learn. Mentor-mentee pairs from this programme consistently learn together and bring out the best in each other. For queries about the programme and YWLC’s Social Impact initiatives, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Audrey Tim