Alan Soh

I am my own columnist, sharing my own thoughts and recent experiences!

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Young ChangeMakers

young changemakers

Young ChangeMakers (YCM) is a flagship youth programme initiated by National Youth Council, Singapore in 2005. I am honoured to be invited onboard to be among the 39 youth panellists in the augural pioneer batch of YCM Youth Panel. Despite the fact that I am hearing-impaired. Served a maximum period of 2 terms. 1 term = 1 year. I was on the Youth Panel till 2007.

I am grateful to former YCM Secretariat staff, June Loh for believing in me, inviting me onboard. She kept reassuring me that things will turn out fine, and help is always available to me.

Our then YCM co-chairperson was Dr Benedict Tan Chi Loong, who was once a former Singapore national team sailor.

Coming from different backgrounds and having different expertise, we youth panellists review community projects done by fellow youths to determine who are the ones worthy to be given monetary funding. We also offer mentorship to successful grant applicants as well. We did it in a firm friendly yet professional manner.

This is where I get to open my eyes, seeing a great variety of interesting project ideas done by schooling youths as well as young working adults. Gained valuable experience and strengthened my leadership skills, which I could apply in my youth voluntary involvement with the People’s Association Youth Movement (PAYM).

As pioneers, we were given the opportunity to define and refine YCM grant application criterias through friendly, open, non-judgemental discussions. I fought alongside with a fellow YCM youth panellist, Alex Tan, to allow PAYM YECs to be able to apply for YCM as an additional grant funding source for various community projects.

My sweetest memory was mentoring my first YCM project mentee who happened to be from my alma mater Yishun Town Secondary School! Along the way, I also gained a better understanding of what youth mentorship is all about.

I got to befriend a great bunch of friends in the Youth Panel. Although we may no longer be in YCM, many of us moved on continue to be a young changemaker in different areas today, championing different social causes or beliefs. Including myself. 🙂

YCM just did a recruitment exercise for a new batch of youth panellists for 2014, which has just ended on 16 February. It has also revamped its logo image as well. Which you just saw in the above photo.

Do check out our new YCM Facebook Page at


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Youth Mentorship

4 years since providing mentorship to students doing community service projects on Young ChangeMakers Youth Panel, I’m at it again – I am among the 18 youth mentors on my alma mater — Yishun Town Secondary School’s mentoring programme starting 26 March 2012, helping 40 under-achieving juniors from Sec 1 to Sec 3 (Express or Normal). Likely to be a 1-year programme. Beginning from Term 2, 1st Semester.

I will be mentoring two Secondary 2 boys – one from Normal (Academic) and the other, Express.

It is a different challenge. Working along side with the teachers involved, I hope I am able to motivate or inspire the 1 or 2 students put under my charge, sharing my experiences so that they will do their best to overcome whatever challenges to achieve good grades in studies this year. 🙂