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20 Feb 2023 | Sarah

Yu Xin: An Unexpected Journey to a Surprise Destination


Sometimes, the universe is full of surprises, and life can shift for the better in ways we never thought possible. Yu Xin’s story, a 2022 graduate of the Bettr Work Training (BWT) Programme's Intake 03, is one such case in point.

Kicked out of home when she was just 16, Yu Xin found herself couchsurfing from place to place, eventually landing a rental room and working to support herself. After 2 years of navigating this rocky path, she discovered a landing place at Bettr in 2021. Recommended to her by a friend, the BWT Programme represented a timely window of opportunity which opened up the same year she dropped out of school.

All she thought when she signed up for the programme, was getting by with the stipend awarded. Little did she know that this was her first step to many moments of peace and joy, found family, and the stability that she craved.


It wasn’t all sunny days and smooth sailing at the BWT Programme. With financial, familial, and personal issues vying for her attention - it was an uphill battle for Yu Xin to focus on completing the programme and perform during her secondment. She recounts how she used to be late and uncooperative, even argumentative with colleagues as she wasn’t able to cope with the stressors of life.

“I managed to find a support system and the good people I met, made all the bad experiences I went through before worth it.”

However, she says that Suyin, her main pillar of support and mentor at Bettr - was ever understanding and patient, providing constant support, wisdom and advice while giving her the time to grow into her role. The programme mates she met also provided her a network of support to lean on, laugh and grow with.

And not just support - but lessons too, as she shares that her experiences during the programme taught her “many lessons about life and about [herself]” and she came to “realise the good things and bad things” that she could work on, to ready herself for new opportunities, places and people. And soon after her secondment, she became aware that many of her problems could be resolved by the financial stability afforded by a full-time job, and decided to give it her best shot at pursuing a livelihood as a barista.

“My sense of responsibility makes me want to do the role well and live up to their expectations. I have a high sense of expectation for myself, so my teammates ask me to chill out and not overwork. I feel like there is someone behind me to back me up.”

As you’re reading this, Yu Xin is in a much better place. Having graduated from the Bettr Work Training Programme last year, she has now landed full-time employment as a barista with Bettr. With concerns of finances beginning to ease, stability is now a cornerstone of her daily life.

More than anything, she shares how dearly she cherishes the moments of fun with her colleagues at work whom she has come to view as newfound family. A smile lights up her face as she recalls splitting sides over inside jokes like “Question of the Day” (you’ll have to ask her yourself to find out more), and the feeling of belonging that comes from being part of a team.

As she recalls with a wry grin, her “workaholic” tendencies and high expectations of herself have often led to her overworking or feeling antsy when things don’t run according to plan, but her colleagues are always there to remind her to “chill out” and not push herself too hard.

“If I hadn’t joined the programme, honestly I wouldn’t have been in the same place that I’m in now. I wouldn’t have been happy or proud of myself the way I am.”

She’s never once taken for granted how things have worked out, for it wasn’t something that she ever envisioned - yet in the moments of chaos and uncertainty, it was when opportunities for growth and joy were born. Today, Yu Xin feels proud of what she has accomplished and finds joy and love behind the counter of a coffee bar - where she takes pride in making delicious cups of coffee for each and every customer.

Keen to take the first step like Yu Xin has? Enquire to find out more about our social programmes.