Jia Xin and Jirad, 15 years old, are two good friends with a shared dream: to become a pilot. When their mentor Nathan found out, he brought the boys to a flight simulator where they could experience what it was like to fly a plane. Jia Xin shares, “I was touched by how Nathan paid more than half the cost of the flight simulator himself. He often does this, treating us to food or sponsoring things for us out of his own pocket.” Nathan also arranged for the boys to meet a pilot, so that they would hear first-hand what pilots do. Jirad said of this, “I really appreciate what Nathan did, because he gave me a clearer picture of my goal, which motivates me to achieve it.”
The trio have many fond memories together. Jia Xin recalled how they once went to East Coast Park to cycle and ended up talking about life lessons – how to save up for the future, discover their strengths and understand their values. Meanwhile, Jirad recounted that from Secondary 1 to Secondary 2, Nathan would meet him to study his weak subjects (Chinese and science) every week in the J10 youth hub. The boys think of Nathan as their older brother, an encourager and caring presence in tough times.
Both boys appreciate Nathan’s willingness to listen and understand their struggles. Jia Xin shares, “I used to be impulsive in my speech, often saying something hurtful without thinking or using vulgarities. As a mentor, Nathan would sometimes be on the receiving end of my thoughtless words, but he patiently listens to me without being offended. Through his guidance, I have learnt to be less temperamental and more self-controlled and respectful with my words.” Jirad adds, “Not many people would be as patient and supportive with us. What I treasure most about this group mentoring relationship is the trust we share, so that I can tell them how I feel without being judged.” Because of the faithful support of their mentor, both Jia Xin and Jirad have been empowered to grow in maturity and achieve their dreams.