The founders of Bright Culture Group, Joel and Alex, got to know each other when they joined the Temasek JC tennis team. Little did they know that their friendship would extend beyond the tennis courts and last more than 10 years.
It was also during their JC days when a family friend asked Joel to help her daughter who was struggling with school work and exams. While helping her, he discovered incredible joy in seeing the difference he made in her life. He saw the fruit of his efforts as she overcame her fears and became genuinely excited about the subject. That was the moment he knew he discovered his passion. He knew that being a teacher was more than a job. It was a calling.
Since then, he was been giving tuition to many students, many of whom he calls his friends now. It is the amazing transformation he sees in his students that motivates him. He once had a student that came to class with a huge ear piercing and frequently skipped tuition classes. His mother would often be crying to Joel in sheer desperation as he was not fulfilling his potential and asked Joel to motivate him.
After a few meetings with Joel and his family, he started to turn the corner. It was tough to persuade him but he started having regular tuition sessions and finally passed his O Levels. He went on to ITE, before going to poly and finally graduated from NTU. It was a very long journey, but when the student brought Joel out for lunch after graduation, Joel knew it was worth it.
Like our late PM said, “If I have to choose one profession in which you give the most for the least, it is probably teaching – if you take it seriously. You have to have the temperament for it to coax, to stimulate, to cajole, to discipline a young mind into good habits. You must have an aptitude.” Mr. Lee Kuan Yew 1966