From May till August every year, Candice Chai, 30, will spend her Saturdays preparing for the National Day Parade (NDP). An annual involvement for Candice since she was 17, the NDP holds special significance for her where she is currently volunteering as a Motivator Mentor. Candice is also the Principal of TOUCH Child Care (Hougang).
Started her NDP Motivator journey since she was 17
Her involvement in NDP began in 2009 when she joined as a NDP motivator through her CCA in her first year at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Having started out as a shy teenager who is not confident in engaging a crowd, Candice gradually grew in confidence through weeks of training.
“The mentor in charge of my sector was patient and encouraging. She saw that I was slightly nervous and taught me techniques to engage the crowd better!”
Each week, Candice will try out new techniques to engage the crowd in the NDP performance such as balloon sculpting and cheering during the various segments.
Motivators as an Extension of the Emcees
“I realised that motivators serve as an extension of the emcees’ roles.” Candice shared. “With such a big crowd, not everyone can see the emcees clearly. As motivators, we are in the stands with the audience. Our energy and actions directly impact the experience of the audience.”
“When the audience got into the celebratory mood, sang along to the NDP songs and enjoyed the performance, it felt like I made a difference to their National Day experience.”
Inspired by her own motivator mentor to impact lives
It was Candice’s own mentor who inspired her to return annually as a motivator mentor.
“She went beyond the duties of NDP and guided me in various aspects of life. She saw something in me that no one else saw. She gave me the attention, mentoring, and encouragement when I struggled, and I want to do the same for someone else.”
Motivator experience extends beyond NDP
Since then, Candice has been volunteering as a Motivator Mentor every year, training new batches of motivators in crowd engagement, mass dance and balloon sculpturing. This year, she is serving as a section leader, leading a team of 9 motivator mentors and 44 motivators to engage the VIP section.
“The motivator experience extends beyond NDP. Some return as mentors, others forge lasting friendships and journey through life together. And that makes spending multiple Saturdays under the hot sun worth it.”
Since 2000, TOUCH has been part of the annual National Day Parade, training over 400 students from various Institutes of Higher Learnings (IHLs) to engage the crowd as motivators.
You too can make a difference in someone's life today: https://www.touch.org.sg/getinvolved