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25 Jan 2022 | Cheryl Ng

Lukas: A Safe Space to Grow

"Back then, I was out of school and had lots of bills to pay - I didn't know when my next meal would be, or where I was going to stay. Bettr Barista taught me life skills that I couldn't learn in school."

Meet Lukas, a student from our Bettr Work Training programme.

Before Bettr, Lukas’s life was a blur… filled with uncertainties. Living life day by day, he saw a bleak future, fervently in search of hope and security. Little did he expect to chance upon a glimpse of hope, an opportunity that enabled his life to take a turn for the better.

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“My life wasn’t really on track - I dropped out of school and was in debt. I spent time out in the streets and eventually dabbled a little into drugs.

Before I could learn much about the programme, my social worker signed me up for it, and I was in class, learning all about coffee.”

That’s how it all began. Feeling the urge to improve his quality of life, he was keen to join the programme. The thought of attaining stability intrigued him. With zero coffee knowledge, he embraced this new journey with an open mind. However, for someone who has always disliked commitment, be it studying or working, it proved to be a challenge at the start. He was uncertain about what he was doing, or if it would pan out. There were days where he felt unmotivated, he struggled to change his perception and adapt to this new lifestyle - so he didn’t turn up for his classes.

“I skipped classes a couple of times. Despite this, I wasn’t asked to leave. Instead, I received frequent check-in calls and the Bettr Team provided unfaltering care and concern, constantly asking me about my mental and emotional wellbeing. They never gave up on me. This belief was what really spurred me on.”


One of his most memorable times at Bettr, as he recounts, was coming together as a team to produce large quantities of coffee for bulk deliveries. During the pandemic, a team of our baristas came together to prepare 300 bottles of cold brew daily, to be sent to various hospitals and care facilities. To Lukas, this provided a great sense of achievement, being able to show support to the healthcare workers with such a small, but meaningful gesture. Despite the long hours, he enjoyed the fun environment that was constantly filled with laughter... It felt like one big, Bettr family.

“Sometimes, when you speak to your supervisors, you have to be more mindful of your language and behaviour - it might get uncomfortable, and you can’t really be yourself. However, I feel comfortable interacting with my supervisors, especially Shirley. The tone that she uses isn’t condescending at all, she’s just like a friend I can openly confide in.”

“At Bettr, I feel comfortable. Comfortable, and safe. I can talk to my colleagues and supervisors about the problems I’m facing and they’ll give me advice. They’re really understanding of my emotional and mental wellbeing.”

To Lukas, Bettr is a place he can call home. Learning in this nurturing and caring environment, he has met many people who have given him support, helped him get back on his feet, and who are like family. With the overwhelming amount of love and warmth he has received, he looks back and wonders - how could he have given up so easily at the start?


Oftentimes, change constitutes to fear. Many may not be receptive to the fact that we need to make changes in our lives, for better things to come our way. “I think we should not be afraid of change. Instead, try to treat it with an open mind - don’t be afraid to start a new journey, a new chapter. Go forth and see what lies ahead. It will surely take time for us to adapt, but we should try to adjust our mindset.“

“Being part of the Bettr Work Training programme, has made me more responsible. Now that I’m in a much better place than I was, I’ll continue to grow and be a better person. As I work towards being a manager someday, I hope to impart the good values that I’ve learnt at Bettr to my future employees.”

Are you ready to make a change, just like Lukas? Enquire to find out more about our social programmes.