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Introducing Susie, one of Beautiful People’s devoted long-time volunteers. After retiring from full-time employment to spend more time with her late mother, Susie explored various volunteer opportunities before finding her home with Beautiful People. Currently, she is spearheading Beautiful People (BP)’s Free For Good (FFG) mentoring programme for women from Changi Women’s Prison on top of providing training and support for mentors.  Additionally, Susie is a mentor in the training team and is a member of the Nominations Committee. While these roles appear to encompass varying degrees of responsibility, they share a common thread in investing people and their aspirations.  

Her journey with Beautiful People began in 2009 when a friend, already a volunteer, invited her to a mentor training session, knowing Susie was searching for a worthy cause at that time. Susie was initially hesitant in attending the session as she was not keen in mentorship roles and planned to stay for only 30 minutes. However, she lost track of time and found herself dedicating her time and effort to Beautiful People for 15 years.  Susie started as a rookie mentor at Pertapis Centre for Women & Girls in the same year one of Beautiful People’s flagship programmes, My Beautiful Life (MBL) launched. Despite facing early challenges, the supportive community within Beautiful People inspired her to persevere, and she is now confident in holding leadership roles today.

Transitioning from corporate life to volunteer work was not without hurdles as Susie was neither familiar with the community and social service sector in Singapore nor heard of the term “social impact". Her time at Beautiful People became a transformative experience where she discovered another world where her fellow mentees lived. Susie realised her privilege and access to resources and choices available compared to her mentees. This drives her in wanting to be a blessing to her sisters through investing her efforts in helping them achieve their dreams and aspirations. The community of sisters provided Susie friendship and support, propelling her to embrace larger responsibilities over time. She recounted “Each relationship I’ve built nurtures my strengths or highlights a weakness in me and this has allowed me to work on myself to be a better and authentic version of Susie.”

One of her most memorable moments was convincing a group of big sisters to join her in running the Free For Good programme at Changi Women’s Prison. Despite their lack of experience in mentoring women, let alone entering a prison environment, they made the bold decision to take a leap of faith. This decision led to a series of invaluable experiences that enriched their lives and the lives of the women they mentored behind bars.

Reflecting on her volunteering leadership journey, Susie finds comfort and reassurance in Maya Angelou's words: "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." This philosophy guides her approach, reminding her that every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow. Regardless of her inexperience or lack of qualifications, Susie finds reassurance and support from a community of sisters with diverse strengths and perspectives willing to journey and share the load with her. 


Susie recognises that in an imperfect world where people and circumstances are constantly evolving, it is hard to gauge the right time to do the right thing. Rather, she focuses on doing her best and trusting the process that provides learning and feedback for the next step. By modeling this behaviour, Susie hopes to encourage others to take risks and embrace new ways of thinking and doing things. 

To others on a similar path, she encourages embracing one’s personal unique gifts and talents through utilising the freedom and opportunities available to explore them in various ways in contributing to the community.  “Leadership extends beyond personal boundaries, it entails the willingness to show up and support one another through good, bad and challenging times. All of us are interconnected; our individuals and collective actions impact BP. I believe in the African concept of ubuntu, ‘I am because we are’, which is deeply ingrained in our BP culture and practices.”

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