Meet Lyon Koh, a social worker whose passion for helping others and seeing them smile in return led her to join the social service. This is her story.
What sparked your interest in social service?
I decided early on to pursue a career in social service. I like to help people and see them smile, so dedicating myself to giving and helping others seemed to be the most meaningful way to live my life, given that I only live once.
Why did you choose to take up the Social Service Scholarship?
The scholarship allows me to have richer interactions with the social service sector prior to work, through various opportunities in connecting with those in the sector. Being in the NCSS Sun Ray Scheme also gives me added exposure to macro-level work through involvement in sector-wide initiatives and workgroups, which has been eye-opening for me.
What drives you to do what you do?
My strong belief that people should not be denied hope. If I can play a part, even in the smallest ways, and be a part of the process of co-creating hope for their future – that is what keeps me going every day.
Besides passion, what other qualities do you think are needed to work in this industry?
Resilience and patience are two qualities that are very important. The work is tough and working with people is never easy, so these two qualities will go a long way in helping us to overcome the challenges we face.
Everyone experiences setbacks. What motivates you to keep going whenever you feel that way?
Whenever I feel down, I remind myself of the struggles I faced in joining social service to keep myself grounded. Each time I face challenges and question my ability to cope, I remind myself that this is something that I want in life. That is the most important as other things will just fall into place.
How do your colleagues help you in your work?
My colleagues are supportive, helpful, and fun – they make work life more enjoyable and bearable in times of stress. I have always appreciated the caring check-ins that I have received from my peers and managers and how they are willing to go the extra mile to help and support me when I face challenges. The line of work we are in is tough and this further increases our need for social support – both peer and professional.
What advice would you give to those who are considering the social service scholarship?
Think about whether you really want to pursue a career in the social service, which particular service area, and why. If you are clear about your decision, just go for the scholarship and get that additional support for your goal. You never know until you try, so do not let other factors affect you from considering this scholarship.
Lyon engaging with clients in a session.