Beautiful People began as a programme under Beyond Social Services in 2006 with a focus on teenage girls. Our belief is that as future mothers, they have the power to create new possibilities for the next generation. With just three volunteer champions, we organized various activities such as jewelry-making and make-up classes with teenage girls at risk. It soon became evident that the relationships and community that were being built, were more important than the programme.
By 2007, we had expanded our befriending relationships into the residential homes of AG Home and Pertapis Centre for Women and Girls, as well as initiated a Girls Club at NorthLight School, which assists students at risk of dropping out of school.
In 2009, working with our two partner homes, Beautiful People launched our flagship programme ‘My Beautiful Life’, a structured mentoring programme that takes Big Sisters and Little Sisters through facilitated big group and small group discussions on topics such as self-awareness, self-esteem, building social networks, setting goals as well as conflict and stress management.
The Beautiful People Family was formed in 2011, in keeping with our purpose of nurturing long-term relationships that support the Little Sisters through key transitions, especially after their discharge from the residential rehabilitation homes back into their families and the community.
2012 was the start of a new stage of growth for Beautiful People, as we expanded our network of partners to include The Tent and Gracehaven. This was followed by our receipt of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre’s President Award for Volunteerism (Informal Group Category) in 2013.
Over the next two years, we brought our mentoring model to new areas, mainly the workplace, prisons, homes and overseas through programmes; Good Work!, Free for Good, Families For Families (initially called the Baby Reader Programme) and GLOW respectively. We also launched our Young Leaders programme, which allows mentees who have completed the structured programme of ‘My Beautiful Life’ to continue their involvement with Beautiful People. With opportunities provided for further relationship building, the Young Leader programme seeks to empower our mentees by allowing them to become change agents of their own lives and those around them.
Beautiful People’s Dream Fund was launched in 2014. Dedicated to supporting our mentees’ educational pursuits that will bring them closer to achieving their dreams and independence, the recipients of this scholarship are encouraged to ‘pay it forward’, either through contribution back to the fund or through their involvement and service to Beautiful People and the community.
In 2015, Beautiful People came out from under the wings of its parent organisation, Beyond Social Services, to become its own legal entity, Beautiful People SG Ltd.
In our 10th year of 2016, Beautiful People embarked on yet another significant milestone with the launch of our first boys’ programme, ‘Heroes’ Journey’. This signified a revisiting of our fundamentals, whereby as a family, we believe we need to engage the fathers, brothers, husbands to be part of the solution to repair and restore broken relationships and hurts. It is equally important to nurture boys who will grow up into supportive brothers who care for their sisters, responsible fathers who take care of their families, and courageous men who make a stand for the women in their lives. 2016 also saw Beautiful People bringing our befriending and mentorship programme into Dayspring Residential Treatment Centre to help teenage girls who have suffered the traumas of physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
In 2017, Beautiful People started visits to Singapore Girls’ Home to continue our mentoring journey with girls from our partner homes sentenced there by juvenile court. We also launched the Graduate Mentoring Programme for discharged youth to inspire personal growth and career development. This programme consisted of monthly visits by mentor-and-mentee pairs to dynamic organisations like Microsoft, MediaCorp and The Esplanade where we hoped to ignite the dreams of our mentees through inspiring career talks and job possibilities.
That same year, Beautiful People also established Little Giant Steps, a programme for children aged between 6 to 12 in a residential home. With this programme, Beautiful People provides social and emotional support for the young who have experienced trauma in their lives. Within two years, Little Giant Steps had been expanded into child protection centres and to the community at Geylang Bahru.
In 2019, Beautiful People had the honour of receiving the MSF Community Cares Award, given in recognition of Beautiful People’s dedication, time and effort in building a caring society.
With our progress thus far, we have seen many Beautiful People family members develop resilience in the face of life’s many challenges and share the ups and downs as they happen. While we celebrate the fact that the relationships we have built with one another over the years have witnessed generational change, we will continue to blaze a trail that will enable others to begin their journey ‘Because Our Dreams Matter’!
“Our journey is a journey of faith. So much of what we hope for, we cannot see and it is sometimes years before the seeds planted bear fruit. But our work is that of patient and constant gardeners; living, loving, sowing, waiting and sometimes reaping and rejoicing.”
– Melissa Kwee, Founder of Beautiful People