"He was the same age as me, but we led very, very different lives." (Damian Toh, volunteer tutor)
Updated: Jun 20, 2022
Damian, a volunteer under Impart Education, tells us about the youth he tutored.
“He was the same age as me, but we led very, very different lives - while he goes to work, I go to school and am provided for."
He is a very gentle and sweet person. Big-sized, with tattoos and a man bun, but when you talk to him he's actually really goofy and gentle. When he tells me his stories, he’s neither angsty nor angry, but he saw and felt that he was in the wrong. I really felt like I was making a friend.
There was one session where we couldn’t do anything because he had accidentally left his phone on the bus, so we spent the entire session trying to get it back. I don’t remember much, except how he dealt with it. He was sad, but he wasn't angry with himself or frustrated, like he had already accepted it. I don't know, I think it is just characteristic of him as a person- very gentle, not angry at the world. I think it's something that is quite precious I guess, like where did he get this from? Knowing my own personality, I would be quite bitter if I were him, bitterness and resentment.
Usually we would have sessions at my university, and we would have dinner together after-I think he looks forward to this the most, hahah. Whenever he would come over, he would say things like “wah I wish I could study here also”. I think it challenged me quite a bit, to think about the barriers that are preventing him from being able to access these opportunities and spaces.”