SINDA held its Positive Youth Development (PYD) Awards Night on Nov 21 at the Umar Pulavar Tamil Language Centre.
The event is held to honour youths who have improved tremendously through programmes organised by its Youth Division - be it in character building or leadership qualities - as well as to encourage them to continue achieving more.
These programmes include the Guidance and Mentorship Programme (GAME) that engages youths through activities such as music, dance and football; SINDA Lions, Youth Victory, Camp Arise, Holiday Engagement Programmes and Peer Leadership Programme and Study Skills Workshops. Last year, PYD reached out to almost 1,200 youths through its programmes.
"SINDA youths are role models to every Indian youth in the community and are testament to what can be achieved when they work hard and stay positive," said Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah, who was the guest of honour.
Commenting on SINDA's youth programmes, SINDA CEO K. Barathan shared: "Great emphasis is placed on our students' academic achievements; at the same time, we are also very focused and committed to developing them into holistic individuals who are well equipped to take on challenges of the future."
A total of 92 participants, all secondary school students, received awards for the successful completion of the PYD programmes that they were a part of. All of them had dedicated considerable time outside of their study hours to the programmes, with some clocking up to 60 hours.
One of those who has benefited from the PYD programmes he attended is 19-year-old Raja Rishi, who was crowned valedictorian at the Awards Night. He was in Secondary 3 when he joined the GAME programme in 2011. "He was a quiet individual who kept to himself and admits that he was never a confident person. Five years later, we are proud to note that he has made tremendous improvement, both academically and personally," said Ms Indranee, who lauded Rishi in her speech.
Rishi, who is currently studying at the Institute of Technical Education, said he felt that the knowledge and experience he gained from the programmes have made him confident enough to go on and achieve more in future.
In his speech, he told his fellow award winners that "we are all different and unique. You cannot win a football game with 11 strikers. We each have our own skills and talents, and we must embrace our talent and work hard at it".
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