I started my journey with Shining Star Reads in 2014 as a volunteer. Being a volunteer with BLESS was an important aspect in my life as I had very little volunteering experiences. By volunteering with Shining Star, I had the chance to positively impact children from lower income subgroups through teaching and guiding them. I thoroughly valued my volunteering experience especially since I enjoy interacting with children.
Furthermore, volunteers are provided opportunities to participate in decision making by sharing our opinions and ideas in further enhancing the learning experiences of the children. This illustrates that BLESS does not undermine the potential of volunteers but instead empowers them by providing varied and ample opportunities for growth. All these various factors further propelled me to continue my stay with Shining Star.
Gradually, in 2017, both Yan Xi and I were given the opportunity to lead the program as Community Group Managers(CGM) for Shining Star Boon Lay. As a CGM, I was increasingly able to internalise the essence of BLESS and its’ belief in building a caring community. Moreover, I feel glad to highlight that besides Shining Star fulfilling its’ purpose, it has become a platform that empowers children which is immensely inspiring. For instance, the older children in Shining Star Boon Lay, contributed to supporting other younger children during the reading sessions. They utilized their learning experiences to give back to the younger ones. In fact, we strongly believe that they will continue to be role models for the younger ones.
Seeing them being empowered from a participant to a volunteer assisting others, further encourages me to be committed towards supporting BLESS and the children. Such small yet remarkable changes made, further boosts me to continue impacting the children’s lives by dedicating myself towards serving BLESS children meaningfully.
I believe the combined efforts of BLESS has led to creating meaningful impacts both at the individual and community level holistically. Ultimately, I hope that more would step forward towards building an empowering and caring community. I would like to end off with a quote by Mother Theresa, “In this life, we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love”.
CG Manager, Shining Star Reads @ Boon Lay