It is good to be home and I never realised how much I missed being Singaporean and how difficult it was being a foreigner living abroad until I was out there in the US for ten years.
For a decade, I lived and worked in the US on an international visa and have had my share of both less-than-positive and humane experiences there. On one hand, as an ‘alien’ (a term referring to non-citizens residing in the United States), I experienced negative incidents which are too lengthy to recount. This made me more understanding and empathetic towards my friends and colleagues who are foreigners or people of different races in Singapore and who have been unfortunate to experience being poorly treated or have been regarded as inferior.
On the other hand, I had also experienced innumerable acts of compassion and kindness extended by the people in the US. I have experienced the generosity of donors who extended a scholarship for me to pursue my doctorial training, the love and support of colleagues who have invited me into their homes and fed me, the friendship of many who became like family while I was out there on my own. I choose to remember the kindness I had received as a foreigner and am forever grateful for the many people who have journeyed with me and have extended generosity and friendship. For this reason, I am able to complete my professional training and bring my skills back to my home country – Singapore.
Sage Cocoon was started for this reason. With the blessings I received from a foreign land, I hope to use my professional training and experiences to bless young people of diverse backgrounds in Singapore. I hope to be able to extend the same kindness, love, and support that I experienced and to journey with children and youths to live life purposefully and meaningfully. This has shaped the values of Sage Cocoon to include: compassion, inclusivity, cultural sensitivity, and neuro-diversity. We are dedicated to supporting people from all walks of life!