Meet Mega, she’s an alumna of YCAB’s Rumah Belajar who now works as a trainer for the school’s Rumah Cantik vocational training program. Rumah Belajar was founded by YCAB in 2003 as a learning centre that teaches basic education equivalency and also practical skills for underprivileged kids. The place offers vocational courses that coach skills such as sewing and hairstyling.
Mega was first enrolled at Rumah Belajar when she was in grade 11, it was mandatory for all students at Rumah Belajar to choose one vocational training program and Mega who at the time wasn’t really interested in hairstyling decided to sign up for Rumah Cantik mainly because most of her friends also took the same course.
“[At Rumah Cantik] we learned how to do sanggul (updo hairstyle), traditional sanggul, blow dry technique, coloring and all kinds of skills required to become a hairstylist. The class was fun, plus my friends were all there,” Mega tells.
She soon fell in love and developed a passion for it, she finished Rumah Cantik vocational training and graduated from Rumah Belajar in 2013. After her graduation, Mega had a moment of doubt regarding her future because she felt that going to college wasn’t exactly what she wanted, she then got a job working as a sales promotion girl (SPG) at a shopping center.
“While I was working, I got a call from a former trainer of Rumah Cantik, kak Neneng, who told me about a beautician scholarship at Puspita Martha and told me to apply for it,” she says.
Mega then followed her advice and took the scholarship that granted her a training at the institution for a month. Fresh after the training she was offered a job as a trainer for Rumah Cantik at Rumah Belajar in Pondok Bambu, East Jakarta.
“The Pondok Bambu place was quite far from my house, which was in Ciledug, after working there for quite a while I fell sick and my Supervisor decided to relocate me to Rumah Cantik in Duri Kepa, West Jakarta,” says Mega who is currently working as a trainer at Rumah Cantik Duri Kepa, the same place where she used to study as a high school student.
It has been six years since Mega graduated from Rumah Belajar and it seems her life has come to full circle. Today she serves as the only trainer at Rumah Cantik in Duri Kepa, handling a number of students on a day-to-day basis. Apart from working as a trainer, Mega also has her own business, a beauty salon located in her own home and she sometimes accepts freelance make-up jobs. Looking back on her journey, Mega never would’ve thought that she would someday become a hairstylist with her own small business and also become an educator.
“The biggest challenge for me [as a trainer] is the fact that I had no background in education so I was a bit confused at first, I didn’t know how to teach students and I was very shy. To overcome that fear I joined trainings that helped me with public speaking,” she adds.
Mega also mentions that several of her students are following in her footsteps, some graduates have their own beauty salon and some work at a salon.
When asked about her goals and wishes for the future, Mega pauses for a bit and proceeds to say: “To be a successful entrepreneur. I also wish for a more improved Rumah Belajar, I want the school to have more diverse training programs like courses for make-up or manicure and pedicure.”
Mega’s story is one of many other success and inspiring stories that we’ve heard from our beneficiaries. Over the years, Rumah Belajar has helped hundreds of students in not only improving their education but also finding out their true passion, and this goes to show how providing education and necessary skills to underprivileged kids will greatly improve their lives in the future.