I could not just sit and let graduates remain jobless just because they weren’t able to articulate and carry themselves with confidence. The ‘I must fix this’ voice was loud at the back of my head.
‘Diane, I am ready to make a move.’
After 1 recommendation, an interview and an affirmed decision, I was offered a job as a Trainer and Project Manager of an English programme to help students and adults be confident to speak in English.
More than 3,000 people were trained. There were times I was the trainer, and there were times I was the facilitator. But 1 thing was the same. They all became unconfident to speak English. And it was a result of being mocked, laughed at, ridiculed and brainwashed that they were less of a Malay if they spoke English.
Oh, how I cried inside every time I sat with someone who shared their experience with me. There were times I cried with them because I understand what they had to go through. Even more sad is listening to those who have a burning desire to master the language for a better future, but succumbed to the need to fit in.
Oh, how I felt them. I faced the same thing, only I had the support of my family, who gave me the strength to stand firm with what is important and to ignore voices that did not bring any benefit.
Their stories and determination kept me going. The smile and final tear they cry upon finding the strength to be confident helped me find my passion.
A Degree, a confused mind, a job accepted for the sake of, working round the clock, internal fights, perseverance, sucking it up, buckets of tears, a million inspirations and 6 years later, I knew I wanted to train and help people to master the English language for a better future.