This blog is where I escape from reality & is the result of the listening part of me. Oh btw, I dont talk much in real life.


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Sunday, 21 August 2016

As a few of you may know, I attended a 7-day camp in a Port Dickson resort earlier this month. This camp is a requisite once you're a part of Yayasan Khazanah's scholarship programme, & is called Yayasan Khazanah Premiere Scholars Programme (YKPSP). Prior to YKPSP, I thought it was only going to be just another camp. That was the impulsive me talking, what more when I found out that it spanned over a week. I just said yes when I got the invitation just because I had to, & I didn't want to delay it until a further uncertain date. Plus, all my friends were attending too so I just went along with it. The day eventually came & there I was headed for a camp, not knowing what to expect.

If I were to sum up the whole experience in one word, it would be pivotal. Enjoying the whole bit of a week was the last thing on my mind when I first got on the bus to PD, but it turned out otherwise as the session starts. I gained a lot of wonderful insights, especially on leadership & self-discovery. We got the chance to listen to some of the best guest speakers - Syed Azmi, Teach for Malaysia - and also very incredible trainers to polish up on our different strengths & also rectify our weaknesses. I was never excited for leadership camps before, but YKPSP's made me look forward to all the sessions as planned. I met a bunch of cool & exceptional people too.

I think one of the most vivid moments of the camp was when I got the opportunity to speak in front of everyone in a session called Speaker's Showcase. Okay, it goes like this: we were divided into 4 groups of 10. We had to present our speeches twice in front of our group members. Each group then had to vote for 2 of its best speakers for the Speaker's Showcase. We had an assigned speech coach for each group to guide us along the way. I have always been self-conscious when it comes to talking in front of a crowd, which made me very nervous when I gave my speech in front of my group for the first time. I think it's safe to say that I was the least favourite choice among the 10 of us after my first speech. But then I talked to my coach & he gave me so much input then he told me "I look forward to your next time". No pressure.

The second time came & I wasn't at all prepared. I went to the resort's rooftop alone to calm myself down before I headed for the second round. I came in late & I was casted last. Everyone improved so much from their first time, but then again they did fairly well the first time, unlike me who was a total wreck. My turn came. I gave my speech & suddenly it didn't feel as bad as it was the first time. My coach said I improved tremendously. To cut to the chase, I was then voted to represent my group in the Speaker's Showcase & it didn't make me feel any better.

Again, I was casted last for the showcase & all the chosen speakers were so good. I knew I didn't have the slightest chance of getting on par with the rest of them. I went on, I delivered my speech & I got down. The feedback from the audience was heartwarming, to say the least. Though I may not have won a place for the showcase, but the message of my speech resonated throughout the rest of the camp as it proved that people were still referencing to my speech even after it's long finished. Right then, I knew I won the audience's hearts. Side note: the subject of my speech was actually one of my blog posts from a few years back.

We also got to do a community visit at Vinashini Home in Seremban, a home for the mentally challenged. I'm going to be honest with you, I almost broke down seeing how run-down the place was. I was assigned to do some gotong-royong & I saw some painful sights. When I heard stories of some of the residents, it made me realise how real things are. Some of the residents were once ambitious students & high achievers too, but somehow along the way, they lost it. I did my best to make them happy throughout the few hours we were there. We danced, sang & painted with them. It gave me this sense of fulfilment when I saw their smiles. It's very eye-opening & inspiring. Sometimes we have to give back to the other side of the community that's often neglected because only then will we realise how privileged we are compared to them.

All in all, attending YKPSP is one of the best things that's happened in my life this year. I don't regret spending a week with the bunch of talented pool of people that I've grown to feel like family. A family I belong to. YKPSP is indeed not another camp.

Black Moustache