S. Swetha, 17 said her biggest accomplishment to date is winning the first prize in the inter-school drama competition held at Kuala Lumpur, last year.
“I played the main role in the drama, entitled Efforts and Success. It was my first time going up on a stage as I had stage fear and never dared to take part in any competition. But after joining the Maharani programme, I developed a positive attitude and took part in the competition. I never thought I would win the first prize,” said Swetha who joined the Maharani programme at the age of 13.
The experience also gave her the courage to speak up during their weekly school assembly on general topics.
“I chose to speak about HIV/AIDS to create awareness and how one can avoid being infected by the virus. We recently studied about HIV/AIDS during biology class and I wanted to share the information with everyone,” she said.
Swetha saw many positive changes in herself after attending the Maharani programme. She learned to control her temper, be more disciplined and punctual.
“Being punctual was always emphasized at the Maharani Learning Lab and it soon became a habit for me,” she said.
She said through the three Maharani camps, she discovered herself, her strength and her weakness.
“I learned so many things from the camps. In the first camp, we were taught the values and skills needed to be strong and independent girls. We also learnt how to set goals for our life. Being young, setting goals for ourselves and the future were not something that we were aware of. Now, I learned the importance of goal setting and how to achieve it. I also learned about personal care and self-hygiene,” she said.
“In the second camp, we were brought to a jungle to learn survival skills and how to overcome challenges. In the third camp, I learned about leadership skills and responsibilities,” she said.
Swetha said before joining the Maharani programme, she used to be a shy and timid girl with low self-esteem.
“I didn’t talk much and was afraid to voice out my opinions for fear of being rejected. But now, I have learned to express my opinion and accept when others disagree with me,” said Swetha who has two younger siblings.
She dreams of becoming a forensic investigator when she grows up and enjoys watching crime movies and documentaries.