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09 Jul 2024 | Cheryl Ng

Triumph Over Adversity: Farouq’s Journey from Solitude to Success

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Farouq was 15 when he joined Bettr’s Holistic Training (HT) programme in 2023. In 2020, he completed his PSLE and embarked on a new journey in secondary school. That same year, COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Despite support from his Principal and teachers, Farouq became more isolated and distant as he struggled with navigating these new changes. His deteriorating mental health gave him bouts of severe anxiety, and it was difficult to meet new friends. His confidence plummeted as he kept giving in to his fears, eventually refusing school for over three years.

Hafizah, a supportive social worker assigned to Farouq, threw him a lifeline when she referred him to the 4-month Bettr Holistic Training (HT) programme. This initiative, made possible by the Community Foundation of Singapore, is aimed at supporting marginalised youth. With a maximum class size of 12 people, Farouq was enrolled into a tight-knit group that focused on developing their social-emotional skills and awareness through the Six Seconds EQ Curriculum. 

This allowed him to better understand the root of his fears and anxiety, and enabled him to see why understanding his emotions can help him work on himself and navigate his fears.

Uncertain, but desiring change in his life, Farouq decided to give his 100% commitment to see through the programme. With support from his social worker, family, school, and trainers in the HT programme, Farouq gradually emerged from his cocoon of isolation. Through work experience at Starbucks Singapore, he honed his barista skills and gained the self-confidence needed to return to school.

“Your consistency throughout both the training and work attachment is admirable. You took the challenges you encountered and the feedback you received in your stride — to always do better and improve yourself holistically. When your Ibu and I got to see you in action at Starbucks, we were really beaming with pride!”— Hafizah to Farouq, upon his graduation from the Bettr HT programme.

As secondary school graduation approached, Farouq stood poised on the threshold of a new chapter in his life. He prepared to tackle his 'N' level exams, knowing that he had already overcome his biggest hurdle — his inner fears. Farouq was able to gain a sense of purpose again, because he learnt to see the latent potential in himself as guided by his mentors.

“You have to constantly challenge yourself. Go through experiences that are uncomfortable. [Through] those hardships, you will eventually achieve success, so don’t give up.”

Farouq's journey serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us that it is never too late to change the narrative of your life to be 100% Bettr.

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