Before Derrick came to us, he was a very mischievous and playful kid. Seeing his disciplinary teacher on a weekly basis was a norm as he was constantly fighting with others.
Things changed in Secondary 1 when he joined the CABIN Club as a second CCA. It helped him to step out of a comfort zone, learnt to be more vocal and to tone down on his mischiefs. Come Secondary 2, the Project CABIN opened his eyes to never judge a book by its cover. He learnt that in society there were all sorts of people, those who may look like a gangster and rugged, may not actually be that bad after all.
However in Seconday 3, his short temper reared its ugly head as Derrick got into a scuffle with his classmate who happened to be his best friend, when he insulted his parents. After that one fight, most of his friends and classmates started to ostracize him. But it was a different case with those from CABIN. They looked beyond his past, and accepted him for who he was. In his final year, it was not all smooth sailing but he managed to pull through with the support of those from CABIN. The CABIN gave him a chance to develop his leadership skills.
After graduation, Derrick reflected on his time in Secondary School and how Project CABIN saved him from his own worst enemy, which was himself.
It allowed him opportunities to grow and shine as a leader. CABIN provided a platform for him to step up as one of the selected youth leaders who assist in planning and leading youth ushers for major events like Chingay and NDP. Also, it honed his listener skills and to always to look at both sides of the coin so as to make an informed decision.
In a nut shell, CABIN helped to nurture the natural leadership qualities that were within him all along. Derrick remains indebted to CABIN and pays the good deed forward by passing this practice and chance to others whenever he volunteers at CABIN, so other students too can get a chance to shine and be someone who they truly are.
*Derrick’s name has been changed to protect his identity.