RAIS­ING CHAM­PI­ONS

The cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of chil­dren has big dreams when it comes to ca­reer op­tions.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Family - By SHEELA CHANDRAN star2@thes­tar.com.my

“I WANT to be a food sci­en­tist when I grow up,” says Year Two stu­dent Asma’ Yasser.

While she may not know the nuts and bolts of the pro­fes­sion, Asma’ be­lieves it re­volves around con­cep­tu­al­is­ing new dishes and mak­ing food tastier.

“I like to eat cakes, desserts, Western dishes and In­dian cur­ries. As a food sci­en­tist, I will get to cre­ate dif­fer­ent food items which chil­dren can en­joy,” shares Asma’ dur­ing a re­cent in­ter­view in Petaling Jaya, Se­lan­gor.

The friendly girl be­lieves the job will en­able her to play around with dif­fer­ent in­gre­di­ents.

“I want to cre­ate spe­cial dishes like ice cream pasta and spe­cial cur­ries. I also want to cre­ate sweet and sour funky drinks for my school­mates,” ex­plains the SK As­sunta 2 stu­dent.

Older sib­ling Haf­sah Yasser as­pires to be a film di­rec­tor, just like her favourite di­rec­tors, Eric Bross (The Boy Who Cried Were­wolf) and Phil Gorn (Gibby and Richard The Lion­heart)

“I want to di­rect movies for chil­dren. I like movies with ele­ments like com­edy and hor­ror. I watch on­line video tu­to­ri­als on YouTube to im­prove my movie direct­ing skills,” re­veals the Year Four stu­dent who uses a smart­phone to record videos.

Twenty years ago, most chil­dren dreamed of ven­tur­ing into tra­di­tional pro­fes­sions like law, medicine and engi­neer­ing.

The cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of chil­dren has big­ger dreams. Some want to be ac­tors and ac­tresses, YouTube stars, ath­letes and blog­gers.

Haf­sah’s mother, free­lance jour­nal­ist and pro­ducer Lat­i­fah Koya, 46, be­lieves chil­dren should have the free­dom to ex­plore their am­bi­tions.

“As long as their am­bi­tions are vo­ca­tions that en­able them to con­trib­ute to hu­man­ity, I will be a very proud mother in­deed.

Plus, we can­not ex­pect chil­dren to ven­ture into tra­di­tional pro­fes­sions as the world needs newer pro­fes­sions to make it go round,” says the mother-of-four.

It was re­ported in news web­site The Telegraph that what chil­dren watch on TV has the big­gest in­flu­ence on their choice of ca­reers.

The write-up, “Chil­dren would rather be­come pop­stars than teach­ers or lawyers” says pre­teens today are hop­ing to find fame through sport, pop mu­sic or act­ing.

Pre-schooler Emelia Chan­drani Suren­thran is among the thou­sands of chil­dren in­flu­enced by char­ac­ters on TV shows. The sixyear-old wants to be an ex­plorer or sci­en­tist just like the char­ac­ters on her favourite chil­dren’s TV se­ries, Lit­tle Ein­steins and Dora The Ex­plorer.

“Sci­en­tists are clever. I want to carry out ex­per­i­ments and cre­ate new things,” she says.

She wants to em­u­late the char­ac­ter Dora from Dora The Ex­plorer who trav­els around the world in search of ad­ven­ture.

“It’s fun to learn new things through ad­ven­tures. I also like Leo, An­nie and June (from Lit­tle Ein­steins) who fly to dif­fer­ent coun­tries in their space­ship to learn new things.”

Older brother, Aaron Adithya Suren­thran, eight, is de­ter­mined to be a pa­le­on­tol­o­gist.

“I want to find di­nosaur bones, fix them and dis­cover their species. I can dig for their bones in Antarc­tica, Asia, the United States, and Africa,” says Aaron, cit­ing the Tyran­nosaurus rex as his favourite di­nosaur.

“Di­nosaurs are big, strong and fierce. When look­ing for di­nosaur bones, I must wear a hat, sun­block and drink lots of wa­ter to keep cool.”

How­ever, there are a hand­ful of chil­dren who are keen on tra­di­tional ca­reer choices such as medicine, law and engi­neer­ing.

Jen­vin Tung, six, wants to be an ar­chi­tect, just like his par­ents, Datuk Kiat Tung and Datin Cheng Yardly.

“I want to build tall build­ings. I also like to draw and de­sign nice build­ings like Mummy and Daddy,” says Jen­vin.

Older brother Jensen Tung, 12, dreams of be­ing a physi­cist like Al­bert Ein­stein, Stephen Hawk­ing or Isaac New­ton.

“I do not know what the fu­ture holds for me, and I might take a dif­fer­ent ca­reer path. How­ever, my child­hood dream is to be a physi­cist,” ex­plains Jensen.

While Tung agrees it would be ideal for his sons to fol­low in his foot­steps, he be­lieves chil­dren should fol­low their heart.

“The world is so ex­cit­ing with the ad­vent of re­new­able en­ergy, e-com­merce and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence.

“There are so many more ex­cit­ing ca­reers now. It’s best to let my sons pick their own ca­reer paths,” says the 43-year-old award-win­ning ar­chi­tect.

Health sup­ple­ment brand Champs has in­tro­duced My Cham­pi­ons, a fun learn­ing app de­signed to help chil­dren un­der­stand and ex­plore the fol­low­ing oc­cu­pa­tions: doc­tor, ath­lete, pi­lot and chef.

The in­ter­ac­tive ap­pli­ca­tion com­prises a col­lec­tion of ques­tions and an­swers and in­ter­est­ing “Do You Know?” ses­sions, en­com­pass­ing gen­eral knowl­edge, tools of the trade, and get­ting to know the hu­man body. Points col­lected from cor­rect an­swers will al­low users to get Wat­son e-vouch­ers for dis­counts on Champs prod­ucts pur­chased on Wat­son’s e-com­merce web­site. This app is free, avail­able on An­droid and Ap­ple phones.

Aaron wants to be a pa­le­on­tol­o­gist, while his sis­ter Emelia wants to be a sci­en­tist or ex­plorer. — ES­THER CHANDRAN/The Star

Tung and wife, Cheng, with their sons Jensen (sec­ond from left) and Jen­vin. — RICKY LAI/The Star

Haf­sah wants to be a film di­rec­tor when she grows up.

A love for food has in­spired Asma’ to be a food sci­en­tist. — Pho­tos: NORAFIFI EHSAN/The Star

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