Year Head, East View Secondary School
Educator Partner, NFTE Programme

What does influence mean to you?

Influence means to have an impact. There can be positive or negative influences and I do aim to have positive influence on the people who come into my life in one way or another.

What are some memories/experiences of influence being exercised in your life? (If possible, do link it to an experience with Halogen Foundation)

I remember vividly in one of the business visits where we brought students to UBS, there was a life-mapping activity whereby the students and the volunteers mapped out the high and low points in their lives in a pictorial manner. One student brought his lifemap excitedly to me and showed me the events in his life. I was actually shocked to learn that the events he mentioned that impacted him were not good ones. However he shared how he overcame them through the encouragement of his teachers and peers and one of the significant moment was how his teacher showed kindness to him when he was down. I was reminded again how easy it was to bring positive influence into the lives of the young students. A little kindness, a little consideration, a better choice of words to admonish the wrong actions… all these little choices I make can influence the people I interact with positively if I conscientiously choose to do so.

How has your time with Halogen impacted the way you exercise influence in your everyday life?

I have heard many stories of young people overcoming their odds and am inspired by their choices to rise above their circumstances to bring about a positive impact through their mindsets, words and actions. In my role as an educator, I know I have to guard the influence I make on my students and I find myself making more effort to model the way for my students to behave. With my colleagues, I want to influence them to see beyond what seems to be the presenting issues and find out more about the circumstances the students may be facing at home. At home, I constantly reflect on the leadership I provide to my spouse and my children. I do want my children to grow up knowing how to empathise and be others centred not self centred.

In your personal view, what is the potential of influence?

Influence does not depend on the social economic status or the intellectual capabilities of an individual. It starts off from being aware that man does not live on an island and that all the actions we take have an impact on ourselves and surroundings. And when we know this impact, we will start to believe that we can change the situation we are in into a better one for all. Influence is not limited by age. The young and old have huge potential to influence their communities. All it takes for influence to take root and soar is a heart to want to see better things and a willingness to keep trying until the better things are fulfilled.