How do youths, in facing life problems, setbacks and challenges, overcome them? How can youths learn to support their peers in need? What are questions that we as educators (and parents) can ask ourselves to better understand and learn from the challenges that youths are going through, and empower our youths to develop character and to support one another?
In Stories of Youth, our eyes are opened to youths facing and overcoming a myriad of different challenges: bullying, ostracism and suicidal thoughts (Claire Lim); social inequalities and advocacy efforts (Clarence Chng); panic-attacks and depression (Tammy Tan); and racial prejudice, drug-abuse and challenging entrepreneurial ventures (Sayan Hassan). These poignant stories provide inspiration, hope and courage to youths going through challenges of their own. They illustrate how they can triumph over the odds and be victors rather than victims of circumstances. The stories also offer insights into the role that caring peers and significant adults can play.
These stories are written by a team of youths (Riccia Lim, Rebecca Ong, Rebecca Zeng, Tammy Yim, Chong Khai Tjie and Ng Kai Jie) currently in tertiary education, who are seeking to champion youth voices and impact. They started on the project last year to listen, gather and curate narratives with the aim of sharing and celebrating the diverse stories and strengths of youths from different backgrounds.
These stories are linked to the 24 VIA character strengths, a core pillar of Positive Education. While these first two chapters are ostensibly about hope and bravery, one can also find a whole plethora of different strengths that are demonstrated. It is our hope that the stories can inspire readers to embrace their strengths and thrive in difficult situations. The questions posed at the end of each story and chapter provide an educator’s guide to facilitate journaling self-reflection for individuals or collaborative class discussions.
The authors invite youths and educators with a story to reach out to them through this email SGStoriesofYouth@gmail.com, or head to their Instagram page, @sgstoriesofyouth, and click the link in the bio.
May you enjoy and be inspired by these stories!
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