Alumni Interview: Fam Li Ying, Head of Growth at Teach for Malaysia
Sri KDU Schools recently spoke to alumni Fam Li Ying, Head of Growth at Teach For Malaysia and former Head Prefect of Sri KDU Secondary School. Read Fam Li Ying’s interview below!
“I graduated from Sri KDU Secondary School in the year 2006 where I picked up many different skills and the ability to explore these skills as a stepping stone to my career at Teach For Malaysia. I first started my career with Goldman Sachs in the United States after pursuing my studies in Psychology and Business at Stony Brook University. During my time at Goldman Sachs, I was a committee member of the Women’s Network and actively organised sessions that empowered and enhanced the experience of women professionals in the organisation. I subsequently joined Teach For Malaysia in 2014, a non-profit organisation with a mission to improve education by expanding opportunities for all children and led the recruitment team in seeking top graduates and young professionals to teach in high-need schools across Malaysia. I currently lead the Growth team at Teach For Malaysia, where we continuously grow the Teach For Malaysia brand while cultivating partnerships with private corporations and the public community.
Teach For Malaysia is a non-profit organisation that is building a movement of leaders in the education ecosystem to empower all children in Malaysia to realise their full potential. We believe that the power of education can unlock the potential of every child. A child’s background and systemic injustices often determine their outcome in life. Personally, I have always believed that a good education is when everyone enjoys learning. A school should be a place for everyone, a place that nurtures and celebrates all students. I was very fortunate to have had a network of teachers and mentors that entrusted me and believed in me throughout the four years of my education in Sri KDU Secondary School. My learning wasn’t only confined in the classrooms, but a lot happened outside of the classrooms too where we learned how to resolve conflicts within our clubs and learned that grit is celebrated as much as a victory from a marathon.
Although I was not particularly great at academics, the Sri KDU’s teachers and community helped shape my mindset that I was able to do whatever I set my mind and heart on. I was given the chance to explore my interests, strengths, and experiment with different things. There was an abundance of opportunities for students to find themselves, their talents, and interests, no less. When it comes to the values, I keep dear to my heart would be among the many classes I enjoyed, however what truly shaped my perspectives and values in school was all the experiences and interactions I had with the school community. My first leadership experience, being in the prefectorial board—it was where I learned to build relationships. I believe that these memories and skills I gained in secondary school are the reason why I was motivated to leave the corporate world and join Teach For Malaysia in 2014. I wanted to contribute to the education landscape through an organization that wants to unlock the full potential of children no matter their backgrounds.
Marianne Williamson once said that our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do."