Back in 2014, Ruth Tan kickstarted her career with TOUCH at TOUCH Adventures (TA), running adventure-based camps and adventure learning programmes for children and adults.
Little did she know that almost 10 years on, she would continue impacting lives as she explored various roles within TOUCH. From mentoring youths from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) under TOUCH Leadership and Mentoring (TL&M), to supporting parents through TOUCH Parenting – where she works as a Family Life Educator today, Ruth’s journey in TOUCH mirrored and impacted her own life journey.
“I’ve always wanted to work in TOUCH, but I never thought I’ll get the opportunity to do so. Looking back at my journey here, I’m thankful that I got a chance to work with different clients and impact them through the different phases of my life.”
Giving Back with Passion
Ruth was previously working in the Republic of Singapore Navy as a communicator. However, she had always been passionate about working with children and youths. When she heard about the work of TA, she was keen on incorporating her skills from the navy into creating experiential learning activities for them.
“During my TA days, we did everything from planning adventure camps to organising dragon boating activities for senior clients. It was an eye-opening and fun way to give back with my skills.”
Stepping Out of Her Comfort Zone
With Ruth’s experience working with youths and running camps at TA, she was excited when an opportunity came for her to join Aptitude, TL&M’s student activity centre which aims to develop students’ passions and hobbies into strengths and skills for the workplace.
As an ex-ITE student herself, she could relate to the struggles faced by the students and wanted to play a part in mentoring them through this life stage.
“There is a lot of societal stigma and misconceptions towards ITE students. While working with them, I learnt that with proper mentorship and guidance, these students can develop the confidence they need to shine,” Ruth shares, as she fondly recalls how she became a mother figure to the students as she journeyed together with them.
As someone who had fears about public speaking, Ruth’s time at Aptitude also pushed her to step out of her comfort zone when she conducted student training.
She shares, “I grew a lot during my time at Aptitude because I was challenged to take on tasks I would normally shy away from. When you step out of your comfort zone, you may be pleasantly surprised at what you can do!”
Journeying with Parents
Coincidentally, when Ruth was starting her parenthood journey with the birth of her first child, she was also given the opportunity to join the newly formed TOUCH Parenting back in April 2020.
As a Family Life Educator at TOUCH Parenting, Ruth works as a Parenting Support Provider who oversees programmes for parents whose children are studying in local schools in the regions of Toa Payoh and Jalan Besar.
Since her role required her to “teach” other parents, Ruth used to have high expectations of herself to be a role-model as a perfect parent. “As I met other parents, I realised that we all went through similar experiences in our parenting journey. I learned that instead of striving to be perfect, I should use my experiences to encourage other parents not to give up,” she shares.
Looking back on her journey in TOUCH, Ruth is thankful that her experiences have equipped her to continue impacting lives.
“Having worked together with Primary and Secondary school children in TA, and then youths from ITE at Aptitude, this laid the foundation for me to better understand the struggles faced by parents today, and I’m thankful that these experiences have come in handy where I am today.”
TOUCH Parenting aims to strengthen parent-child relationships by providing parents with relevant parenting resources through every stage of their parenting journey. It conducts informative talks and workshops which empower parents with knowledge on how to talk to kids, parenting in the digital age, and nurturing resilient children and youths.