I don’t know if it was the way journalists write beautiful cover stories, or the way they interview so many people I admire, but becoming a journalist was always one of my many dreams.

To me, being a journalist to me is a very significant job. Who else would cover the news and feed society with exciting information and stories from all around the world?

I always wanted a taste of journalism. I found myself constantly pretending to interview celebrities in the comfort of my own room, and writing about exciting news in my diary day in and day out.

When I was younger, journalism seemed like such a tough dream to accomplish, yet it was all possible with the BRATs young journalist programme.

I heard about BRATs through The Star. I read through the work of other youths in the newspaper and on the Internet, and instantly knew that this was the programme for me.

After consulting my parents, I sent in an application and waited anxiously for their reply, to see if I would be accepted into the programme or not.

The few days prior to receiving the results were the most nerve wrecking days of my life. However the wait was worth it, when I saw a new email in my inbox, confirming my spot in the BRATs Camp!

Now, I didn’t know what to expect from the camp. It was a four day-three night stay at the First World Hotel in Genting Highlands.

I had 101 thoughts running through my mind. Would I fit in? Would I make new friends? What if everyone already knew each other? However, all my nerves turned into excitement when I stepped into the conference room of the First World Hotel, and saw many young faces, looking just as eager as I was.

Within the first few minutes, I had made so many friends, I was struggling with names already! After some ice breakers, I felt so at home. It was hard to believe that I had only known my new friends for about an hour or so, we already felt like a family.

Deanna (left) with her new Brats-buddies, Sarah (centre) and Amelia (right) on assignment at Genting.

We had several workshops the same day, such as how to conduct interesting interviews, and write eye-catching articles. Before I knew it, the first day had gone by like a breeze! We completed our assignments and went up to our hotel rooms to get a good night sleep, although it was hard, because we were so pumped for the next day!

Our first assignment was an exciting one. We were taken to the Police Station of Genting Highlands, to learn more about the Police there, their significant jobs, and their roles in keeping Genting Highlands the safe tourist resort it is today.

We were also treated to a seafood steamboat that very same night, that made our mouths water!
Besides the delicious food, it really was nice, sitting in our teams and bonding over topics such as our school life, our interests and our dreams for the future.

The next day was just as exciting, we were taken to the cable car workshop in Genting Highlands. We had the opportunity to ride the famous Awana SkyWay cable cars and get shots of the beautiful scenery.

We had the chance to see how the cable cars are maintained, how they function, and the process of fixing a cable car. We also had the opportunity to interview so many interesting people, of different backgrounds, and hear about their passion in the cable car industry.

We spent the entire day thereafter working as a team on our articles and videos, getting advice from our facilitators and looking out for each other. In those few hours, I really understood how important teamwork is, especially in getting assignments done and meeting deadlines.

Seeing how hard my teammates worked, gave me motivation to do my best, and contribute my best for our team.

On our final day, it was time to review all our work. We watched our progress from the first day, all the way till the last day, and looked over every teams’ product.

It really amazed me to see how much we had learnt in the few days.

Arriving as aspiring journalist with little knowledge, now we were taking charge of group assignments and being independent. Sitting with my teammates, I felt really proud of all we had accomplished. With a few cameras, laptops, the help from our facilitators and our determination, we had been able to produce exciting and informative videos, articles and even pictures, that we wouldn’t have known much about, just several days before.

The BRATs camp taught me more than just journalism. It taught me the importance of teamwork. That everyone has to work together, to bear fruit. Everyone has to chip in, to accomplish what we want.

The camp also taught me the importance of hard work. We can’t achieve anything without pure passion, determination and perseverance.

It also taught me the true meaning of friendship. Although I met people over a span of four days, I now have friendships and memories to last me a lifetime. And these will never fade, no matter what.

But most importantly BRATs taught me that I can do it. Before the camp, I often doubted myself when it came to my capabilities in becoming a journalist, but now, I feel one step closer to achieving this dream of mine.

I’m determined to use everything I’ve learnt in the camp in my everyday life, and to be the best journalist, and person that I can be! So here’s to the best four days of my life. Thank you Brats!

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