Celebrating Breakthroughs – NYLD 2016 in the Spotlight

Celebrating personal breakthroughs no matter big or small at National Young Leaders’ Day 2016.

With the running theme of “Celebrating Breakthroughs”, National Young Leaders’ Day (NYLD) 2016 seeks to encourage youth to find their inner strength, empowering them to overcome any obstacle they might encounter on their journey towards the peak of their lives through stories of inspirational speakers.

Held in the morning for primary school students, National Young Leaders’ Day Primary Edition (NYLDPE) presented a lively lineup of four speakers with performances that were not only entertaining but carried with them the inspirational message of resilience and breakthrough.

Kicking off the event was professional magician and ventriloquist, Shawn Chua, who shared about how his own determination had brought him to unimaginable heights. Shawn explored the notion of how passion drives one to not only do the bare minimum but find ways to go above and beyond. He also dived into how passion gave him the boldness to step out and be different amongst others in his field.

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Riding on how passion acts as a key driving force through the valleys and peaks of life, Gelyn Ong also shared her journey as a budding, yet accomplish artist. Being the youngest speaker of the day, this 12-year-old proves to be a living testament to youth that anything is possible when pursuing your dreams, regardless of your age.

Through the sharing of his various projects as a creative director, Pann Lim our third speaker emphasised how things might currently not be how you expected them to be, but by following your passion you can achieve great feats in the future. A pivotal take away from Pann was his quote – “We wouldn’t know where the road leads us to, it can be anywhere. It’s up to you. It’s about the attitude and creativity that you have.”

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Rounding off NYLDPE, local singer-songwriter Jean Tan shared, “If you put your heart, your mind and your soul to do something. You will get there. You don’t have to search externally to know your worth. You just have to search within.” Looking at Jean and hearing her performance, you would not have guessed that she was born with a condition that prohibited her from ever becoming a singer.

After going through multiple operations, she achieved the unachievable, overcoming her disability and becoming an influential musician with the ability to move audiences with her songs and powerful voice.

In the afternoon, National Young Leaders’ Day (NYLD) for secondary and tertiary students kicked off with another set of amazing speakers, no less interesting and captivating than those in the earlier session.

Josephus Tan, a lawyer specialising in criminal defence litigation started his session by painting a picture of how things used to be for him as a teenager, sharing how even though his education journey was not a prominent one, he still managed to turn things around and worked towards his goals. His captivating, amusing mannerisms as well as intriguing personality and appearance, allowed his message to resonate with many youths who left the theatre feeling like they could take on the world. It was very motivating to see someone who used to face impossible crossroads, now stand up and fight for people to be given a second chance.

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Rohaishah Hamid, a passionate educator, shared her moving life story which left some in the audience on the brink of tears. Through her arduous tribulations, one message was clear: never give up. As she effectively puts across, “Life is like a storybook. When you tear the pages, there are still many more pages. When you go through difficulties in life, there is still so much more in store for you and each and every one of us has a different story. No matter what the story is, always never give up.”

Local actress, Oon Shu An’s message of self-love and self-worth connected with many youths, allowing them to realise the importance of making their own decision and finding their own direction in life. She also left audiences with a memorable quote she lives by – “Those who have a why to live can endure almost any how.”

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Vincent Yong, our last speaker ended the day by having the students clasp their chest to feel the thudding of their hearts. As silence swept through the hall, the thud slowly became more distinct, beating with a steady rhythm, becoming clearer and louder. What the students felt was not only their heartbeat but also their sheer potential.

“If an egg is broken by outside force, life ends. If broken by inside force, life begins. Great things always begin from inside.” The message of how the search of one’s limitless potential often starts from looking within was what Vincent, founder and director of Da