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We All Need a Catalyst in Life

Written by Vigneswaren, former PBP student, Junior Mentor and Intern with GG.

I believe that life is a very good trainer and it trains us to be better. It's a platform for us to keep improving ourselves regardless of age and maturity. But it always helps when we have a catalyst to push us to improve in life. On that note, I would like to write about my journey with Yayasan Generasi Gemilang (GG). GG has been a catalyst in my life and several key events along with significant people have played an important role in bringing me to where I am now.

My journey with GG began when I was still in Lower Secondary. I joined the Pusat Bimbingan Pelajar (PBP) program as a student. PBP's approach towards students is different compared to other tuition or learning centres. At PBP we get to learn in small groups, guided by a mentor.

In my earlier days as a student at PBP.

This approach helped me very much. I was able to improve a lot in my Mathematics and English subjects. More significantly, joining PBP has also made me more confident in my spoken English because we are made to speak English with our mentors.

PBP is where I met my two excellent mentors who played a huge role in my learning journey. Kevin was a mentor who nurtured a genuine interest in me to learn Mathematics. I find that it's always an amazing session when he tutors me, because I feel empowered. He would make me feel comfortable to learn at whatever level I am at and I know he genuinely cares about my well-being. I learned a lot about life from him beyond just the academics.

With my mentor, Kevin and my brother, Jeg, also a PBP student.

Simpson primarily mentored me in my English subject but more than that, he has always helped and provided me with guidance whenever I encounter problems in & out of the classroom. He has always been the first person to encourage me to try new things. When I was faced difficulties deciding my future after SPM, he was the one who journeyed with me until I made the decision to pursue A-levels, which I am currently doing.

With my mentor, Simpson when I was in Form 3.

When I was in Form 3, Simpson asked me if I would like to join him and the GG team to teach Primary School PBP students as a Junior Mentor. I felt a lot of excitement being given the opportunity to teach primary children because I also have an interest in teaching. It was a whole new experience for me. It wasn't an easy task for me to teach the children because they find it hard to understand my method of teaching. From that experience, I finally understood the challenges that mentors and teachers face in a PBP program.

Coaching a PBP primary student Mathematics as a Junior Mentor.

Later on, while waiting for my SPM results, I joined GG as an intern. It was a precious life experience for me, because I got the opportunity to experience adult working life at the office with the rest of the GG staff. I got to see and understand things from my mentor's perspective rather than just a student's perspective. Not only has it given me a wider perspective, I've learnt many new skills like organising events and running workshops while catching important values like dedication and commitment when carrying out work tasks.

Speaking to parents at the first workshop organised in my own community as a GG intern.

My journey with GG has shaped me to be better person. I can't think of what I would have become had I not joined GG's PBP program as a student. A very important value that I have learned from my journey with GG is to always work hard to achieve my dreams. Getting to meet people who have successful careers when they come to teach us at PBP has sparked ambitions in me to become successful as well. I want to succeed in my future and I hope that I'll be able to contribute through GG by being a catalyst for others too.

With other Junior Mentors, PBP students and GG's Education Services staff.


Editor's note: Minor editing has been made to Vigneswaren's written account & images have been shared upon his consent. We have had the privilege of mentoring 'Vicky,' as he is known affectionately to GG staff, over several years. Over that short duration we have watched him grow from a shy student who was somewhat unsure of his potential, into a confident and charismatic young adult who is thriving academically. He has since overcome his initial apprehension of speaking in English. He is now a confident English speaker and writer. Most recently, in March 2017, he scored 9A's in the SPM examinations and is currently pursuing his A-Levels. On behalf of the rest of the GG tribe, Vicky, we are so proud of you. We wish you every success in life and without a doubt, we know that you'll be exemplary in everything that you do. You are our generasi gemilang.

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