Tom Kong used to hang out late daily with youths from gangs, smoking with them, and getting involved in settlement talks. In school, he played truant frequently, and got into fights with schoolmates.
His relationship with his parents was distant. He would shout rudely at them when they called to ask where he was, hang up on them or silence his phone to avoid talking to them. There was hardly any interaction at home, as his parents and siblings were already asleep by the time he got home.
During the Guidance Programme (GP) by Fei Yue Community Services, Tom started reaching home early due to the curfew. As a result, Tom’s parents have the opportunity to show their concern for him by having meals with him. In the past, he did not feel their care and concern for him and thought they only wanted to supervise him. Now, there is much less shouting at home, as Tom starts to speak with his parents with respect, and there are even sounds of laughter as jokes are shared.
Furthermore, sleeping earlier had helped Tom to be able to concentrate better in school. This meant that Tom got into less trouble from sleeping in class, and he even started to make effort to improve his Mathematics and English. He has passed both of these subjects during his recent mid year examination, despite failing them consistently in the past. Tom is motivated to get into the ITE course that he is interested in, Cyber Security, and hopes to become a Police officer one day, to guide other youths on the right track.
Tom appreciates the counselling and groupwork sessions by Youth Go! (a programme by Fei Yue Community Services), and felt that they had helped redirect him onto the right path. He had since made a conscious decision to distance himself from the friends of negative influence, and had started to hang out with prosocial peers from school. Tom have also made a decision to quit smoking, as he did not want smoking to affect his stamina. He also hopes to continue to be home by 10pm plus daily even after GP ends, as he sees the positive benefits of doing so. Tom’s improved relationship with his parents also serve as a protective factor against his re-offending.
Today, Tom hopes to be able to share with other youths his story to inspire them that they too can change, and choose a better path for themselves. He feels that this is also one way that he can ‘make right the wrong he had done’ years ago.