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Y.LEAD Confessions

Updated: Feb 10

BY: Wong Yoke Ting, Zoelle (19J10), Ng Chenxi (19J05), Lee Jiaren (19J09), Myat Thazin (19J18), Cheng Wenqi (19J06), Ellisha Chua Hui Xuan (19J10)




"And this is Y.LEAD”


Is the Y.LEAD theme song still stuck in your head? Are you still suffering from post-Y.LEAD depression? Fret not, we have got you covered.


Y.LEAD is never truly over. We ask the Y.LEAD Family about their after-thoughts.



PARTICIPANT:

Joyden Choo, River Valley High School, of class 3A

Group E21


Q. How has this Y.LEAD experience been different from your usual school life? In what ways do you think this has enriched your learning?

A. I got to spend time with people from different classes for a longer period of time as compared to other camps such as aesthetics or cca camp. I got the chance to truly work with them for a longer period of time.


Q. What is one activity that stuck out to you the most and why?

A. The 15HC. It was the event that really got me out of my comfort zone to interact and work with my group. It was the most enjoyable activity too.


Q. Would you want to organise ylead when you’re in J1?

A. Yes. It seems cool to be able to make an impact on our juniors’ lives and help them learn valuable things from Y.LEAD too.


Karin Ng, River Valley High School, of class 3B

Group E21


Q. How has this Y.LEAD experience been different from your usual school life? In what ways do you think this has enriched your learning?

A. It has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and interact with other people that I was foreign to. Learning and growing together throughout the 5day journey has been enriching as we did everything together (No one is considered silly if everyone is doing the same thing together haha)


Q. What is one activity that stuck out to you the most and why?

A. The 15HC, as we really got to bond over discussions and had fun while making our prototype and skit. Whenever the atmosphere started to tense up, there were bound to be a few people who would cheer everyone up again.


Q. Would you want to organise Y.LEAD when you’re in J1?

A. YES PLEASE.


Thomas Jonathan Sherman King, Bergen County Academies

Group D43


Q. Is this your first time to Singapore? What is your impression of the students?

A. Yes! This was actually my first time in ANY Asian country! It was amazing. Everyone, not just the kids at River Valley, made me feel welcome. In my mind I knew that was a foreigner in Singapore, but thanks to the operations team, the staff, and of course the students I never felt like one. The kids all seemed smart, but - more importantly - they seemed like they knew how to have a good time!


Q. How has this Y.LEAD experience been different from your usual school life? In what ways do you think this has enriched your learning?

A. In America, we don't have school in the summer, so it was actually fun to get together with some of my classmates to take this amazing trip! At Y.LEAD, it was almost like summer camp with fun group activities, organized chants, and large coordinated group activities. At our school, we do something similar to Y.LEAD (with games and large group activities) in the beginning of high school (grade 9) as an icebreaker for everyone to get to know each other, so it was really fun for us as older kids who will be in grades 11 and 12 starting in September to do these activities again! And we got to do them with kids from all around the world and learn so much about other cultures and life in other parts of the world which was such an important experience to me.


Q. What is one activity that stood out to you the most and why?

A. Definitely the learning journey. I got a superb opportunity to visit the Harmony in Diversity Gallery in which we got to learn about all of the different faiths and ethnic groups in Singapore, some of the historic violence between groups, and the people at the Ministry of Home Affairs who work to ensure that peace is always kept between the ethnic and religious groups of Singapore. For the learning journeys in general, I loved the fact that we - all students of Y.LEAD but especially foreign students - got the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of the city of Singapore and aspects of the design of Singapore that other countries can learn from. Celebrating with everyone on the last night, the world seemed to melt away. I forgot about everything - the 20 hour flight back home that awaited me, all of the homework and studying ahead of me for the beginning of school, and even how incredibly hot it was! In those moments that last night. I was just having the time of my life with people whom I would remember for the rest of my life.


Chen, Wei-Chun, Taipei Municipal Bailing Senior High School

Group E15


Q. 请问这是你第一次来新加坡吗?新加坡的学生给你留下怎样的印象?

A. 第一次來, 我覺得新加坡的學生都很有自信,每個人都敢說出來自己的想法,而且他們都很有秩序。


Q. 这次Y.LEAD的体验与你平时的学校生活有什么不同?你在Y.LEAD有什么学习呢?

A. 我們的學校比較多都是老師舉辦活動很少學生辦的活動,可是這裡都是學生在主持活動,而且規模很大活動,也很好玩。我學習到要對自己有自信,有想法就要勇敢說出來討論不要害羞,不要錯過機會表達自己的意見。


Q. 哪一项活动给你留下最深刻的印象?请分享原因。

A. 15HC. 因為這個模型是大家一起討論出來的結果而且我也有提供要如何改進這個模型,雖然我們沒有得到上台的機會但我覺得我們還是很棒的E15。


Also, these are reflections from participants who won the Best Explorer award. These individuals showed a willingness to take the first step out of their comfort zone to lead not just their groups, but also fams in games and discussions. They also displayed strong aptitude and confidence in leading even in uncomfortable situations.


David Sng, River Valley High School, of class 3G

Group E18


Q.Was there anything meaningful that happened to you during Y.LEAD?

A. I really appreciated the time during 15 HC where Tai Rui, the China participant from my group, went out of his comfort zone to sell our idea to Mr Tan, Mr Sim and other teachers. Having seen him been a very quiet participant for the first 2 days, watching him grow and step out was indeed meaningful and heartwarming.


Q. How did you feel when you received the award for Best Explorer?

A. Honestly I just felt very lost and confused.


Q. Is there anything or anyone that inspired you to be your best self during Y.LEAD?

A. I guess the 2 main reasons would be thanks to my facilitator, Han Bin, who inspired me on day 1 to try something new for Y.LEAD and assured me that he’ll be there to support me. Besides that, I didn't want to be regretting my one and only Y.LEAD experience many years later; hence I just decided to be myself and get the most I can out of this camp.


Thomas Jonathan Sherman King, Bergen County Academies

Group D43


Q.Was there anything meaningful that happened to you during Y.LEAD?

A. Now that's a difficult question because there were so many meaningful things that happened in my time at Y.LEAD! Probably the one that stood out to me the most was being given the opportunity to lead my fam to victory in one of the mass games (the city building game) which was incredible for me seeing how well everyone could work together so synchronously as if we had all practiced it beforehand. And, of course, the dance party we had during the last night was the most fun I had had in a long time.


Q. How did you feel when you received the award for Best Explorer?

A. Absolutely ecstatic. I was overjoyed at the fact that I had been honored with this award! I felt that I had made an impact on at least a few people at Y.LEAD, and that I was just as memorable to some people at Y.LEAD as the whole experience of Y.LEAD was to me.


Q. Is there anything or anyone that inspired you to be your best self during Y.LEAD?

A. Definitely my group members. Getting to know the Singaporean students in my group made me realize how little I understood about how people in Singapore lived and the cultural gap between my friends at Y.LEAD and myself as an American. They reminded me that I was still in a foreign country and that I needed to be constantly aware of my responsibility to understand and respect the cultures and customs of the people I interacted with at Y.LEAD and my duty to represent a side of Americans that many people outside the United States are unfamiliar with. While we're kind of known for being loud and arrogant (a stereotype that isn't completely unfounded), most of us are also extremely enamored with people from all around the globe and love experiencing and learning about new cultures and places on the other side of the planet! I hope that I was able to give that impression of Americans to everyone I interacted with at Y.LEAD, but more importantly I hope that everyone I met had just as much of a fun, exciting, and unforgettable experience as I did at Y.LEAD! For the organizers and staff, thank you so much for creating this important and amazing opportunity for all of the attendees, and giving them memories that they will have for the rest of their lives.


FACIL:

FAM L


Kezia Tan Wen Yan, of class 19J19

Facil of L8


Q. How do you feel about growing up from a participant to a facilitator?

A. I was greatly inspired by my facils when I was a participant and I wanted to pass on that feeling to my participants. I guess that motivation pushed me to do more and it really made me realise what my strengths and weaknesses are.


Q. What are some of your surprising and shocking “expectations vs reality” moments during Y.LEAD?

A. I had confidence that I would be able to debrief well and had written down everything I thought of, but when it came to the actual debrief, my mind went blank and I could hardly speak properly.


Q. What advice would you give to team Y.LEAD 2020?

A. I would say to take this opportunity to learn and grow but don’t forget to have fun in the process. Think of others and help each other out, be observant and sensitive! Let loose and bring out the side you are too shy to bring out.


FAM E


Cristal Tan Li Yi, of class 19J11

Facil of E21


Q. How did you feel when you first found out you were accepted into the Facil comm?

A. I was honestly really shocked because I genuinely thought that I performed below expectations in the interview, but at the same time, I was excited as I was hoping hard to get this opportunity.


Q. Did you regret/enjoy being in the comm?

A.To be honest, before Y.LEAD began, I did feel regret for ever thinking about being a facilitator, especially one on such a large scale. Prior to this, I had little experience in being a facilitator and it didn’t really help that my fam had many experienced facs, who always seemed to know what they were doing and what needs to be done. They often shared their experiences with the rest of us and the narratives often included stories about how their groups or classes ended up being very bonded with their help. I knew that they only meant well, but hearing these stories made me even more nervous, to the point where I was even thinking about not turning up for the actual camp because I genuinely felt that I wasn’t up to it. My only comfort through all this was that my fac partner was very experienced and really nice. Yet I continued to worry that I couldn’t value-add to the group in any way and may burden my fac partner a lot more than I should be. However, after Y.LEAD , I was so so so grateful for my baseless confidence I had when I signed up to be a facil. I really enjoyed being a facilitator this time round. Although I started off hoping to help this group of leaders find their way through their leadership journey, I ended up finding my way as well. With the help of Chen Xi (my partner) and the complete cooperation of my group, Y.LEAD turned out much better than I expected. I felt that a lot of my participants managed to make good use of this camp and develop their leadership potential even more. (I’m so proud of them) and although this may be just me and my concept of self-importance, but i’d like to believe that I managed to help them i one way or another. Watching them grow, learn to take initiative in leading themselves, even snagging the top place in 15HC, i felt like a proud mom. Perhaps it was was thanks to their spirit and energy, I found the drive to become an even better leader for my CCA once again.


Q. Do you have any interesting stories that happened during prep work?

A. There were too many! Damien from our fam once walked up the wrong bus, then there was the beef between all the fams and fam A, and when we played the blind mice game with fam D, everyone ran outside and left the three blind mice in the room (Tengyang, Jensen and Damien). Oh, once, when we were on the way to Gardens by the Bay, walking along the linkway, we abruptly realised junjie didn’t know the dance! So we just stopped in front of one of the mirrors and taught him (which he learnt in one tenth of the time we took), and ended up getting caught in a tourist’s film.


FAM A


Loh Lexuan, of class 19J06

Facil of A26


Q. Do you have any interesting stories that happened during prep work?

A. During our dry run at the maritime museum, some people from my fam went to recce the toilet and they said it smelled nice.


Q. Do you think you have manage to execute whatever you have prepared for the past 4-5 months in the actual Y.LEAD?

A. I think that I did execute much of what I have prepared for but of course there will always be more which I feel I could have done, but all I can say is I did my best.

Q. How was Y.LEAD 2019 different from Y.LEAD 2017?

A. I would say the vantage point is different. You are older than you were, the entire experience itself is different. You become the group's very first source of glue, not the part waiting to be stuck together.


Q. What advice would you give to team YLEAD 2020?

A. Jiayou guys! It’s s not going to be easy and you'll get tired, but when you look back, you'll have the memories to cherish.


FAM D


Stefanie Swee, of class 19J09

Facil of D40


Q. What were the preparations like?

A. Preparations were very stressful and tiring, with tight schedules and strict trainings.


Q. Do you have any interesting stories that happened during this prep work?

A. Facils got scolded a lot during prep camps as we were not well disciplined.


Q. How was Y.LEAD 2019 different from Y.LEAD 2017?

A. It was truly an enriching and vastly different experience from being a participant in 2017, as going through the many trainings, I better understand the tough work being put into the camp.

Q. What advice would you give to team Y.LEAD 2020?

A. Always put in your 100% in everything.


OCs + Main Comms

Rachel Sng, of class 19J18

Comm Head of Learning Journey


Q. What’s so special about your comm?

A. We are the largest committee within the Organising Committees working behind the scenes. On a more personal note, everyone in our committee has managed to grow as an individual and as a whole team. Being able to witness this growth truly makes us special.


Q. What’s the most memorable thing that happened to you during Y.LEAD?

A. Toilet duty was very enjoyable, as we were all relaxed having ended our learning journeys by day 4. We all talked and had many instances of laughter!


Q. What do you love about your comm?

A. I love how we got closer towards the end of Y.LEAD with the comm outfit during commencement night and our special booklet banners. Not to mention how the comm is very easygoing and a bunch of fun-loving people once we get used to each other's presence.


Cheng Ping Zhi, of class 19J05

Comm Head of Learning Journey


Q. What’s so special about your comm?

A. Although we’re an introverted bunch and most of us are not comfortably hyping like the rest of Team Y.LEAD, we managed to pull off an important component of the programme! We also know how to have fun and let loose in our own ways.

Q. What’s the most memorable thing that happened to you during Y.LEAD?

A. The most memorable part for me was watching all the comm members stepping up to face the many challenges that come with handling an unpredictable programme flow, as well as taking the initiative to adapt to last-minute changes and problems that crop up. It was also fulfilling to watch the fruits of all 20 members’ labour being harvested and all our plans coming to life.


Q. What do you love about your comm?

A. I love the synergy of all the groups, and how despite most of the work done in the groups, our comm has fun and interacts with everyone as one LJ comm! I remember being worried that our comm would become divided due to the sheer amount of group work, but I was pleasantly surprised when everyone came together to help each other out, play and joke around, becoming familiar with the rest of the comm in the process!


Lin Yan, of class 19J06

Panel Discussion OC


Q. What was your role in the comm?

A. Basically, I was moderating the dialogue sessions during the actual event. However, I also helped out with other things like the event booklets and finding the panellists.


Q. Was this your first choice?

A. Yes! I thought it sounded pretty cool.


Q. Did you enjoy being in the comm?

A. Yes of course, everyone was really nice and we definitely bonded quite a bit during the prep camps and Y.LEAD itself.


Q. What were the preparations like?

A. Well, for one we had to go through many, MANY panellists. A lot of them rejected our invitations. And obviously, the most nerve-wracking part was preparing the script for the dialogue session: we had to go through multiple rounds of rehearsals to make sure we could pull it off on an actual day.


Q. Do you have any interesting stories that happened in your comm during this prep work?

A. My comm was pretty chill, so no tea there (hehe). But if there's anything that's memorable, it's probably tearing up cardboard boxes and sorting out materials with my comm friends at the recycling corner, at 12am in the morning on the 4th night after the 15-Hour Challenge; that was truly a whole new experience. Never thought I'd end up doing this when I first signed up for Y.LEAD.


Q. Do you think you have manage to execute whatever you have prepared for the past 4-5 months in the actual Y.LEAD?

A. Yes, mostly, though there definitely is room for improvement. The welcoming before the dialogue was somewhat hectic, though honestly I think we've pretty much managed to pull it off nicely.


Q. How do you feel about growing up from a participant to an OC?

A. I think it was one of the best choices I've ever made. For one, being able to return to Y.LEAD allowed me to help the participants create possibly one of the most incredible experiences in their lives, and I sincerely hope that the RV participants were inspired by this and return to Y.LEAD.


Q. What advice would you give to team Y.LEAD 2020?

A. I hope that you will confidently pull through whatever difficulties you may face, and do not be afraid to take the initiative as well!


Sammy Bon, of class 19J06

Comm Head of LCD Logistics


Q. What’s so special about your comm?

A. As the Logistics Committee for Y.LEAD 2019, the most special thing about our committee would be that we have had the least interactions with the participants? By that i mean we are special due to the nature of our work, we run and carry tables and chairs during debriefs and disappear during their games, and once again return to keep all the logistics. Another special trait about this year’s logistics committee would be the large committee size of 16 people in total, twice the size of the previous years’.


Q. What’s the most memorable thing that happened to you during Y.LEAD?

A. During Y.LEAD, the most memorable event for me would definitely be overseeing the Mass Display on Y.LEAD Day 4 take place. Over 500 participants rush in to fill up the display which the Logistics Committee had been preparing for a long time. The Mass Display signifies more than just a photo, it was a brief moment where everyone gathered together as one Y.LEAD 2019, appreciating one another’s presence in this leadership camp. Furthermore, this year we have tried to incorporate the idea of growth throughout Y.LEAD, represented by the leaf sprouting at the letter ‘Y’. The final result was breathtaking and that was only possible as everyone was present!


Q. What do you love about your comm?

A. As the committee head of LCD Logistics, something I really love about working with these 15 other people would be the kind and helpful atmosphere we create whilst working with each other. I would admit at the beginning of this journey my committee was a really quiet and awkward one, but that was just because they were unfamiliar with each other! Throughout prep camps and the actual Y.LEAD, seeing everyone warming up to each other, laughing and joking around during our free time always heartens me. Nevertheless, everyone in logistics committee played their part well, focused when they had to and had fun when they could.


Jaymie Seet, of class 19J18

Vice-Chairperson of Y.LEAD


Q. What is so special about this year’s main comm?

A. We are a very bonded bunch and are a very close-knit group. During meetings, we are focused to meet the agenda, but outside meetings we can become super crazy that can laugh about anything. Most of us come in with no experience but are eager and passionate to contribute.


Q. What’s the most memorable thing that happened to you during Y.LEAD?

A. The most memorable would be the main committee meetings until 9.30pm. Everybody was tired but we still stayed till the latest so we could finish up the meeting to be able to move on with other agendas.


Q. What do you love about this year’s main comm?

A. What I love about the main comm is that they are really hard working people. They have passion from within to do a good job and are all so caring and protective over their committee members. They are concerned about everyone around them, as a whole Y.LEAD. It is always easy to communicate with them since they are all so willing and open.


Q. How was it like chairing Y.LEAD?

A. Chairing Y.LEAD was hard because I had no experience beforehand, but with the help of my other chairs, I was able to get the hang of it. It was an enjoyable experience working all the other committee heads. Always be sure to care about who you are working with because they will be your main pillars of support.


Q.What advice would you give to the juniors that are going to be in charge of Y.LEAD next year?

A. An advice I would give is to always be open-minded. There is no actual job-scope to this so you can sometimes feel a bit lost. But do know that you have the support of all the other committee heads and the teachers. Go with the flow and try to help out as much as you can to get the best out of your experience!


Q. Anything to say to the participants of Y.LEAD, your main comm team and the OCs?

A. Thank you for participating in Y.LEAD, whether you were a participant or the organising committee. I hope you have formed strong bonds with who you have met and kept them close to your heart for a long time. This is only a stepping stone to future leadership opportunities. Whether it was a good experience, there is always something to learn from it. Experience without reflection does not help you to learn. I hope you will always remember this experience and truly learn to better yourself!


Gerald Ong, of class 19J12

Vice-Chairperson of Y.LEAD


Q. What is so special about this year’s main comm?

A. As compared to past years' Y.LEAD, Y.LEAD 2019 main comm was open to student leaders from across the school, instead of exclusively student councillors. This allowed for a greater diversity of perspectives and ideas that brought Y.LEAD to the next level.


Q. What’s the most memorable thing that happened to you during Y.LEAD?

A. During commencement night, one of the foreign participants came to me and said something very simple but impactful, "thank you for the past 5 days, you guys are amazing!". It is the joy of the participants that gave me a sense of satisfaction and achievement.


Q. What do you love about this year’s main comm?

A. What bonds us together is the memories that we had together, especially the late night meetings, sentry duties and rushing of proposals. We were able to push through because we knew we were in it together and we always have someone we can rely on, if we need.


Q. How was it like chairing Y.LEAD?

A. Together with my other chairs, chairing Y.LEAD forced us to always see the big picture but at the same time be careful of little details. Other than the work that needs to be done, it is also our responsibility to rally Team Y.LEAD and create a sense of belonging for everyone - every single OC and facilitator in Y.LEAD.


Q. What advice would you give to the juniors that are going to be in charge of Y.LEAD next year?

A. Always keep an open mind and be ready for the challenges ahead. There will definitely be tough times but what is more important is what they take away from the experience, and how they build on it.


Q. Anything to say to the participants of Y.LEAD, your main comm team and the OCs?

A. Whether you are a participant or Team Y.LEAD, I hope that you have gained something from Y.LEAD 2019, be it improving personal skills or making new friends. To Team Y.LEAD, thank you for your hard work, we did it!


Lek Kai Jun, of class 19J04

Chairperson of Y.LEAD 2019


Q. What’s so special about this year's main comm?

A. This year's main comm is made up of 9 close knitted committees. Even though we are not all elects running for the 41st Junior College Students' Council, we have different strengths which allow us to leverage on them and run Y.LEAD smoothly.


Q. What advice would you give to the juniors that are gonna head this?

A. Supporting one another is key to success. If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together. Y.LEAD will be a long journey but never give up and always believe in one another.


Q. How was it like chairing Y.LEAD?

A. It was tiring and tedious to coordinate between all 9 committees as Y.LEAD has a very big scale. Also, it honed my leadership skills to build public relations with relevant parties and liaise with them.


Q. Anything to say to the participants of Y.LEAD, your main comm team and OCs?

A. Thank you Team Y.LEAD for putting your best foot forward and stretching yourselves to nurture the next batch of leaders and to allow them to discover their leadership potential. I hope as a participant of Y.LEAD 2019, you would Step up, Step out and Step forward, not only to contribute as leaders in your society but to also shape the future generations of leaders.


Good times come and go, but the memories will last forever. Y.LEAD 2019 may have ended, but it surely was an unforgettable journey for all that were involved. Surely, this isn’t a full stop for those involved, but rather the beginning of a new period of growth. We would like to applaud the blood sweat and tears poured into the making of this event, and commend those who have made this process worthwhile. While we reminisce the past, let us also cross our fingers and anticipate the success of Y.LEAD 2020, 2021, 2022 and many more!


Go to https://tinyurl.com/morexclusivecontent for the full video interviews!

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