daughters of tomorrow nicolette huang

Nicolette Huang has picked up many life lessons from volunteering, such as empathy and gratitude. Says the volunteer trainer and facilitator with Daughters Of Tomorrow Programs & Impact committee: “We can make a positive change in the world, one day and one step at a time!”

Eight years ago, Nicolette was exploring opportunities for volunteering. Through a friend, she met Carrie Tan and learnt about Daughters Of Tomorrow, which Carrie had founded to support low-income women towards financial independence. (Carrie is now a Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC.)

Nicolette knew immediately that she wanted to do her part.

The 43-year-old explains: “Women are often overlooked as the main caregivers, role models, and effective agents of change. Volunteers like myself can contribute our own experiences and skillsets to enrich the beneficiaries’ back-to-work journey. The women are eager to contribute to our society; all they need are guidance, empowerment, and the understanding of employers.”    

Nicolette also volunteers with Shine Children & Youth Services as well as the Nee Soon South Mental Well-being Committee. These have expanded her skillsets and resources to better support the beneficiaries at Daughters Of Tomorrow and their families, she says.   

Nicolette Huang, a volunteer trainer and facilitator with Daughters Of Tomorrow Programs & Impact committee, loves championing ground-up initiatives and seeing them take flight.

The efforts of volunteers like Nicolette – ranging from befrienders to childminders – have helped Daughters Of Tomorrow to support more than 1,100 women in Singapore through skills training, job bridging and befriending programmes.

These women come from families that earn between $200 and $650 per month, and struggle to break out of unemployment and poverty. Among them, 82% have secondary school education or lower, and 44% are single mothers. And they haven’t been able to access employment due to factors such as lack of confidence, practical support, and awareness. 

“We all have the same 24 hours in a day. It is what we choose to do with our time that makes the difference.”

For Nicolette, giving sparks much joy. “To see a woman regain that spring in her step, sparkle in her eye, melody in her voice, and self-confidence in her life,” she says, “Nothing’s more fulfilling than that.”  

You have been a volunteer with Daughters Of Tomorrow for 8 years – and its longest-serving one at that. What keeps you going?

Enabling underprivileged women to make better choices financially, emotionally and mentally for themselves and their families – and in the long run, help break the cycle of poverty in Singapore and the world.

I was looking to volunteer years ago and through a mutual friend, got to know Carrie Tan, the founder of Daughters Of Tomorrow. Since she needed help to get it off the ground, I jumped in. I love championing ground-up initiatives and seeing them take flight.   

My first impression? It was like any new start-up – everything had to be done from scratch. So we simply rolled up our sleeves, got down to the tasks, and made things happen.        

You are a member of the Programs & Impact committee at Daughters Of Tomorrow. What are some key initiatives and what’s your involvement like?

I am a trainer and facilitator for several programmes. These include DOT Confidence Curriculum (to prep beneficiaries for employment through various workshops that teach skills such as resume writing); Financial Literacy (to teach them the value of money and the importance of savings); and IT Literacy (to equip them with basic computer skills).

Tell us more.   

After walking alongside the women for several months of their life journey – and sharing in their joys and victories – I can’t help but feel as if we are family. I find it very rewarding and touching to observe how these women transform after attending our programmes at Daughters Of Tomorrow. They gain knowledge and confidence, and find hope for their future. I am happy to be able to contribute to this positive change.

What else do you feel needs to be done to further empower women and enable their families?

Love and respect everyone as she is. Put empathy into action: volunteer your time and skill(s). If unable to do either, donate financially – it always helps! 

You work as an assistant operations manager in a multimedia company. How do you find time to give back? 

Learn to balance things out. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. It is what we choose to do with our time that makes the difference. There are opportunities everywhere and as long as we are willing to be malleable, there’s always a way.

What are you looking forward to in 2023?   

Greater peace and equality, so we can focus on making a difference in others’ lives.

You can help to empower women and enable families through various programmes: Befriender, Volunteer Childminder, Supportive Employer, Poverty Sensitisation Workshops, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Donation/Fundraising. Find out more about these opportunities at Daughters of Tomorrow here.

Photography: Studio Aeonz
Set Styling and Creative Direction: BDVA
Clothing and Accessories: Interviewee’s own
Makeup and Hair: Fifty Shades Makeup Academy
Products: COTY Inc.