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The People's Association /
Posted 1 year ago

Launched in May 2020 by the Bukit Batok East Youth Network (YN), the Community Youth Awards aim to provide scholarships and mentorship to deserving students with a passion to serve the community. Despite COVID-19, Vice-Chairperson Kenny Sng was determined to go ahead with the initiative, which had been two years in the making. “When things took a turn in March, we went fully digital, from applications to interviews and the award ceremony,” he shares. “Now, we see the fruition of our efforts in the inaugural batch of awardees.” Genevieve Lim, a Singapore Polytechnic student and recent awardee, hopes to open up new avenues in her volunteering work. “I’ve always wanted to contribute to the community, especially in larger-scale events,” she explains. “When I received the letter of acceptance, it was a very happy moment, knowing I would get to help with guidance along the way!” “Mentorship is a personal process, so not having that face-to-face engagement was a challenge,” admits YN Chairperson Daryl Loy. However, there were surprising upsides to running the event through digital platforms. “At a time when a lot of physical grassroots activities came to a halt, the award programme became an incubator of sorts for Bukit Batok East YN, and a platform to continue generating initiatives and projects that could take place digitally,” says Kenny. “For example, during National Day, the Community Youth Award winners stepped up and created contents that were plugged in to the broader Bukit Batok East celebration.” Among the awardees is Praveen Ashok Huded, who has so far helped organise the Origami Hearts Project - where Belanja a Meal donations were made for every 5 hearts folded by residents - and been featured in a National Day singalong performance. “It was great to get the opportunity to lead projects under the guidance of dedicated mentors,” he says. “They empower you to steer while generously sharing their experience and knowledge. I’m definitely very humbled to be a recipient of this award.”

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