Appreciating Our Volunteers Who Offer A STEP UP to Our Ex-Offenders and Trauma Survivors Through Mentoring

SINGAPORE, 12 March 2024 The six-month mentoring journey of STEP UP culminated today with a volunteers’ appreciation lunch event organised by HCSA Community Services and hosted by Allen & Overy. This event was graced by Guest-of-Honour, Mr. Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Social and Family Development, where volunteers were issued with certificates of appreciations. 

Emiley Yeow, Mentor from Allen & Overy shared, “As a mentor or volunteer, we’re not here to teach someone how to do something. We are here to offer options and alternative views that our mentees can consider while navigating their path.” 

Rindo Ramankutty, Mentor Support from Allen & Overy recalled, “One of my favourite things about the STEP UP mentoring sessions is sitting with our mentee, Larry, and having a good laugh over a cup of coffee. The one thing that I picked up from our conversations with Larry is that social connection is very important. I cannot overstate the importance of that ability to just sit down and have a conversation.” 

This is the second cohort for the STEP UP Mentorship that saw 13 mentorship pairings that involved 26 corporate volunteers from Acronis, Allen & Overy, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Allen & Overy, DBS Bank, Resource Partners, Procter & Gamble, and Värde Partners. 7 individual volunteers also served as relationship managers for the mentorship pairings. 

Larry Sociago, STEP UP mentee shared his experience, “Since the very first meeting with my mentors, I felt very comfortable with sharing my past experiences and the mistakes that I have made. With more sessions to come, they slowly shaped the conversations towards goals and aspirations. A topic which I have been reluctant and uncomfortable to speak of after the umpteen failures that I went through. I would like to appreciate my dear mentors, Shay & Rindo for making a significant impact and I have learnt plenty from you both.” 

Marcia Lee Tjie Yi, another STEP UP mentee, added, “Each session with my mentors Emiley and Winnie, through priceless tips and life experience, cleared the fog on two of life’s biggest mysteries: workplace communication and career progression. They have helped me to take the next big step: seeking funding to pursue my Masters in Nature-Based Transpersonal Counselling, connecting mental health and environmental awareness for Singaporeans of all abilities.”

Tim Beech, Joint Managing Partner, Allen & Overy Singapore said, “The STEP UP Mentorship is like a guiding light, providing support and offering direction to ex-offenders and at-risks girls as they work towards successful reintegration into families and society. Through sharing their courageous stories, they can not only take back control of their lives but also inspire others on a similar journey. Our collaboration with HCSA plants the seeds of change, creating a community where empathy and mentorship flourish. Together, we are helping individuals move beyond their past and confidently step into a future full of possibilities. We are privileged to be a part of this partnership, and excited to continue offering our support for this meaningful cause.” 

About STEP UP Mentorship

The STEP UP Mentorship started in 2022 as an initiative to address a social gap in the aftercare space towards supporting the reintegration of our ex-offenders and trauma survivors. Aside from the mentoring journey, mentees are also offered entrepreneurial or career-ready workshops to facilitate their social and economic mobility. The STEP UP initiative is powered by Allen & Overy, The Majurity Trust, and Procter & Gamble.  



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