Throughout her years of education from primary to secondary school, Julia Azura Bte Abdul Rahman had excelled at the Malay Language. Tests and examinations were dealt with effortlessly and high-scoring grades were a given. Nonetheless, there was a constant tugging at the back of Julia’s mind. There was something amiss. “Is this all there is to it? Excelling in the language is important but setting our sights on this alone would cause us to be easily discouraged when faced with difficulties in the language. Instead, we should appreciate its beauty and be genuinely curious to discover more.”
JPJC’s Malay Language Elective Programme hence provided excellent ground for Julia to grow and develop on. The wide range of activities (Overseas Immersion Programme, Literature Learning Journey and Camp, attachments to civic organisations and the Work Shadowing Programme) allowed her to develop a deeper appreciation for Malay literary works and its cultural roots and language nuances. Beyond this, the exploration of the value of service to the community also played an instrumental role in shaping who Julia is as an individual. An orphanage visit during the Overseas Immersion Programme had touched Julia’s heart and deepened her desire to give back to the community. It was this very experience that inspired a desire to connect deeply with the less privileged on a full-time instead of a once-off basis. Julia then made it her calling and aspiration to work in the social service sector in future.
Although her MLEP journey has come to an end, Julia (who served as Vice-President of JPJC MLEP and Valedictorian for all MLEP centres in 2020) believes that her journey and duty do not stop here. She is looking to volunteer as a mentor at MENDAKI to impart the precious nuggets of wisdom she has learnt from the MLEP programme, and aims to pursue Social Work and Psychology in university. When asked what comes to mind when one thinks of Julia, her MLEP teacher Mdm Lorena Bte Ibrahim declared without hesitation, “She truly encompasses the values of the MLEP programme – she is an advocate for humanitarian values.”