A group leader's perspective: "for they have become part of something bigger than their own selves".
Experience huh, I must say this was a remarkable and a very fun experience. It all started with 10 individuals from different backgrounds and experiences coming together on training by TYEE with one common goal of seeking for Employment. I have to admit that being in a course with 9 other individuals who were 4-8 years younger than me was a bit of a challenge yet very interesting. As we kick off the workshop, everyone was very quiet for they were still in their own comfort zone. Some were still having fun and yet to be serious about the training yet about life. They were all very shy and uncomfortable which is why mingle was a bit difficult for these young adult. Some just did not have the confident to communicate to communicate face to face with another individual.
Day one came and gone and everyone was still in their own shell. We were introduced to the walls of barrier was still there and we were still on the stranger’s zone. During the training we were to discuss and identify our strengths and weaknesses. By doing so it encouraged them to face their fear and their weaknesses. Only then I saw some of them stepping out of their shells and getting to know each other since they have identified their limited beliefs. Little by little each one of these very shy beings came out of their own zone and find comfort in communicating with others. Before we know it our Work Readiness training came to an end and each one of us were all out of our own zone. And that’s when we started to make noises in TYEE and like the saying “Great Things never came from comfort zone”.
After the training we had to prepare for the Go Green program and it was a SWAP with the Theme of “Our Home, Our Future, Our Responsibility”. I have to admit that this was the icing on the cake of my experience, when these young adults decided to appoint me as the group leader. Of course we were out of our comfort zone however it was quite a challenge to get 9 young people to agree on one point and to get from point A to point B. Which is why I came up with the nickname of “Sharks “for our group since their stubbornness attitude towards everything was exactly as of the Sharks. Everyone had a hard time to agree on one point since each person didn’t want to put aside their own ideas for the program. To get these young people to put down their guard and listen to someone else’s idea was just like running a marathon back and forth to be honest. However we tried and tried and hooray we got through the wall of stubbornness and agreed to get things going.
Time flew in a glimpse of an eye and it was Go Green Day with our SWAP program. This day that everyone was so nervous about at first, ended up the only day we were eager and looking forward to. Looking at how keen we all were about the assigned tasks we were given for this day was just enough to say that we were no longer 10 individuals from different background but we were a family that was ready to lend a hand for the betterment of the group whether it was big or small. Since the commencing of the SWAP we worked together and looked out for each other so when help was needed either checking in our participants or allocating them to their seats, someone was there to assist. At this very moment we saw every single individual dancing, mingling, laughing, and shaking off their fears and their own shell away for they have become part of something bigger than their own selves.
Isn’t it amazing to witness the potential that our young people have and the enthusiasm they have knowing that the sky is not the limit, but their mind is! When we started with this program, we were strangers but, in the end, we were a team, and I must add a very loud and active team. And better yet, we became one big family for United We Stand Divided We Fall. To see the enthusiasm in these young people about working was the change that I always wanted to see in my own generation. At the end of our SWAP day it was amazing how we were all out of our comfort zone I could say they were no longer Sharks they were now young adult ready to face the Sharks out there as the challenges in life and whatever may come at them. That was how amazing this experience was because we commenced as different instruments with different sounds and on the finishing line we were a One Band One Sound.