The life of ‘Tien’ today is very different from what it was four years ago. Back then, at the age of 12, he had quit school and was selling tea on the streets of Hanoi. Now a big, joyful grin illuminates his face. He is proud of himself because he just got his first paid job.
Diep, a social worker who supports Tien, is proud of him. “He has changed a lot since he first arrived at Blue Dragon. Now he is much more confident, he communicates more, and cares so much about others and his family,” he says.
All those changes, however, didn’t happen overnight. They are the result of Tien’s long-time efforts and desire to change his life. Since he arrived at Blue Dragon, he has taken every opportunity to learn.
Tien has attended workshops on career preparation, on how to interview for jobs, how to manage his finances, and on communication skills, to name a few. All of this while he stayed in school. And he still managed to make time to play basketball and go to the gym, two of his favourite hobbies.
“I discovered my strengths”
Through workshops and counselling sessions, Blue Dragon guides teenagers like Tien, so they can find out what their strengths are, what activities they enjoy the most and, eventually, choose a career path that they will love.
In Tien’s case, that meant getting training in hospitality. “I love making drinks. In the future, I’d love to become a professional barista, so I can create delicious drinks for others,” he says.
To achieve that goal, Tien joined a hospitality vocational training course, where he learned recipes for the most delicious drinks. And he landed a job right after graduating. Now he works part-time in a cafe, where he serves delicious coffee and ice cream to customers. When he is not a work, Tien is studying, because he is still committed to staying in school.
“We have heard so much good feedback from the cafe manager about Tien’s attitude at work,” say Tien’s social worker. It is clear that his dream of becoming a professional barista is getting closer every day.