Changing the World
Does a volunteer make any difference? Surely that thought must have passed through the minds of SHELTER’s volunteers especially when they are faced with unresponsive or inattentive children when they are tutoring them!
Kelvin Lim remembers Brian Simon, a volunteer, who left a lasting positive impression on him. Brian often shared his personal experiences with Kelvin during the few years he tutored Kelvin. He told Kelvin that he could achieve whatever he set his mind to.
Kelvin came to SHELTER when he was about three years old and he stayed until he was 13. “SHELTER provided a comfortable home environment that encouraged growth. I was given the freedom to be a normal kid,” said Kelvin.
Looking back, he’s thankful that he had a chance to stay in SHELTER. “I was given the opportunity to excel in sports and in my studies and had good training in using the computer,” he said. “I was a very naughty boy then! I used to play truant and when discovered, I would be punished,” he continued.
Kelvin finished his Form Six 1999 and was offered a place in a local university but turned it down as it did not offer him the course that he wanted to do.
Then in May 2000, Kelvin had the opportunity to work in the concierge of a five star hotel, Palace of the Golden Horses. He enjoyed the work tremendously as he had the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. He received favourable comments from hotel guests and his colleagues and he was awarded “Best employee” during a quarterly recognition of hotel staff.
The work experience further enhanced his interest in his field. He secured a scholarship at Sunway College in January 2002 for an advanced diploma in Hospitality Management.
Says Kelvin, “I would like to gain the experience in a foreign country. In fact, I’ve been asked by a General Manager of a prestigious hotel overseas to consider the possibility of working there after I graduate in 2004.”
“I’ve never felt deprived. I’m a bad loser! I tell myself that I can also have what others have,” Kelvin says, with confidence, as he considered what he has achieved so far.
The sense of determination is clear in Kelvin. But, a volunteer’s encouragement had a big part to play in shaping Kelvin’s aspirations and determinations.