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Impact 0569: Providing skills and training for youth-at-risk

Jun Xian · 2 May 2022
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Youth Action Challenge (YAC) is a platform for youth to provide solutions that tackle the issues we are concerned about. Since October 2021, over 80 teams and more than 310 youths have undertaken the YAC Season 3 journey.

Jun Xian, 28, is currently working in Business Development for an SME. He is also starting a non-profit organisation with his teammates from Season 3 of the YAC to work with at-risk youths, aiming to impart skills that can help them earn an income. 

Today, he shares more about the project!

What was your role within your YAC project?

I am the team leader of the project. There isn’t much role definition as the three of us have overlapping experiences in running social projects. However, we all have our own strengths and specialties that allow us to complement each other and work well together, even with no predefined job scopes.

What motivated you to join YAC?

My team and I ran a similar project pre-COVID-19 and were planning to continue in 2020, but we were forced to take a hiatus due to the pandemic. During the break, we thought about how we could better improve the project and realised that our capabilities were quite limited as an informal group. That’s when I saw the call for YAC and signed up. We felt that the YAC roadmap, along with the workshops and mentoring opportunities, was a great platform for us to take a step back, rethink our idea and further improve our project.

Could you share with us your experience with your YAC project?

YAC has provided us with a good platform to kick off our plans for starting a non-profit. We appreciate that we had two mentors to guide us along the way and provide us with valuable insights and feedback to push our objectives forward. They were very supportive and always available to help whenever we were met with an obstacle.

The various workshops throughout the YAC programme also allowed us to meet like-minded individuals who are also kicking off their own projects to impact the community. We also got to meet seniors who have already been impacting the community with their projects.

What are some challenges you faced while working on your YAC project?

One of the challenges we faced as a team was that the YAC programme is more targeted towards social enterprises, which was not very beneficial to us. Some of the workshop mentors paid more attention to groups who were starting social enterprises, thus we did not get as much feedback as we needed.

Could you share more on how your project has a positive impact?

Add One More is our Team/NPO name, but the project that we are currently running is called One More Skill, where we aim to teach youth-at-risk isk skills that can help them earn an income.

In our pilot run now, we are aiming to teach them the skills of being a barista. They will be trained under a Coffee Academy such as Bettr Barista and then go for on-the-job training at various local cafes for six months at least once every two weeks.

Throughout this programme, they will be paired up with a volunteer who will act as a peer mentor/supporter that will learn the skill and go for the on-the-job trainingb with them. These volunteers will be trained with simple peer support/counselling skills before being paired with a youth-at-risk to ensure that they are able to bond and engage with one another. Should this initial run of the programme be successful, we will be looking at expanding to skills such as hairstyling, physical training, and other food-related skills such as baking! We hope that it will fold back into the idea that youth-at-risk can learn a skill that will aid them to earn a living.

Were there any key takeaways or learning points from your time with YAC?

From the informative sharing by industry experts to the ideation and pitching workshops, we have definitely learnt so much. It was a fantastic experience that we have no regrets signing up for.

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