Success Stories Series :

Never alone

A TRYBE YOUTH'S JOURNEY TOWARDS SELF-PRESERVATION

There are always people out there who want what's best for you and will guide you- if you allow them to.

Arrested for unlicensed money lending, Theodore was placed on probation when he was 19 years old. A requirement of his probation was a 9-month residency at Singapore Boys’ Hostel. He shares, “I got into trouble because I wanted to earn money fast. I needed the money but didn’t want to be an additional burden to my mum who was working hard to make ends meet.” The arrest would place Theodore on a journey toward maturity.

My wake-up call came when I was placed on remand at the Changi Prison Complex. I knew I needed to mature...


“My wake-up call came when I was placed on remand at the Changi Prison Complex. I knew I needed to mature – to think about the consequences of my actions before I take them.” This was the turning point for Theodore. He had a conviction to grow as a person and was glad to have a second chance at the Hostel. This conviction led him to stay clear of trouble in the Hostel, completing his residency free of infringements or offences.

While residing in the Boys’ Hostel, he attributes his growth to the staff of Trybe. He fondly remembers the staff of the Hostel who he actively sought for advice. “They were always there for me when I needed them. They have also given me great advice on how I can succeed in life while I was in the Hostel. Most importantly, they trusted me. I didn’t want to betray their trust in me, so I tried my best to stay offence-free.” The real test would come after he was discharged from Hostel.

Without his support, I could have easily fallen into depression.


After he was discharged, Theodore continued to excel. He enjoyed the sense of freedom and the achievement that comes along with it. He continued to abide by the curfews set for him as part of his probation order and maintained the good routines and habits picked up during his stay in the Hostel. A client of Trybe’s Growing Resilient Youth in Transition (GRYT) service, Theodore was assigned a caseworker who would continue to journey with him, mentoring him and seeing him through the remainder of his probation period.

Theodore credits his caseworker, “He was always there for me. He is like a father figure to me, making sure that I was okay and that no harm came to me.” Finding someone he trusted, Theodore began opening up to his caseworker, sharing details about his struggles with his family, his concerns with his career and his general wellbeing. Theodore recalls two moments that left a lasting impression.

The first had to do with his brother, “Although he didn’t have to, when I asked, my caseworker would come and help me out with my brother. I was worried that my brother would follow the same path as me and end up in Hostel, so I asked him to come talk to him. Sometimes, that means he will come even though it was at 2 am.” The second was when Theodore’s grandfather passed away, “He was there to help me when my grandfather passed away. Without his support, I could have easily fallen into depression.”


At first, he was my caseworker. Now, we're friends.

Today, Theodore has successfully completed his probation and is pursuing a career in the shipping industry. He continues to value his relationship that he has with his caseworker saying, “At first, he was my caseworker. Now, we’re friends.” Advising the youth, Theodore shares, “You may feel restricted or supervised, but it’s important to open up and learn to receive the support provided. There are always people out there who want what’s best for you and will guide you – if you allow them to.”

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