- Learner Profile
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How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?
This year, I took my first step into advocating for teen suicide prevention in Hong Kong. Going in to the project, I was quite nervous of how I was going to complete the action of designing shirts and creating my brand, as I am not too creative. However, after brainstorming, I become more aware of my strength for thinking of slogans or sayings to build my brand’s message and purpose.
How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?
I was able to develop this my creativity as I undertook this challenge. I also developed my communication and collaboration skills as I had to share my designs with the t-shirt designer to receive feedback and improvements. In the beginning, I was quite shy and nervous to share my ideas in the fear that it wasn’t good enough, however, I became more confident towards the end in sharing my designs as I began to feel more comfortable with receiving constructive criticism. We were able to then work successfully with each other to produce my first draft of my shirt.
How did you discuss, evaluate, and plan student-initiated activities?
I discussed my ideas with several of my peers and of course the designer. I already began to promote the release of my shirts in August, and already grabbed a few of my friends I am interested in for being involved in upcoming sponsorships to promote my brand further.
How did you persevere in action?
As I was designing, I was finding it quite difficult to create designs that were appropriate for teenagers to wear, while continuing to be fashionable and promote my message of teen suicide prevention. However, after gathering ideas and brainstorming with some of my family members, I was able to overcome this challenge.
How did you work collaboratively with others?
As I said earlier, I collaborated with the t-shirt designer in order to make my first shirt design. Therefore, I had to send him some design ideas while he modified them and put them on a shirt. The t-shirt company I’m working with is owned by my father, so he was able to collaborate with me as well to think of design ideas.
How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding?
In order to ensure that my design is appropriate and suitable for Hong Kong student suicide culture. I researched on the current situation, being some statistics, reasons for suicide, and the stigma associated with mental illnesses. Therefore, knowing this, I decided that the design shouldn’t be too heavy, but instead be seen as something that can be fixed. Through this, I was able to develop my international-mindedness.
How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?
I also had to keep the Hong Kong culture in mind, specifically, the suicide causes and stigma, to be able to produce shirts that don’t offend the locals. I ensured that this wouldn’t happen through several market surveys, and peer evaluations.
I am very excited to release my first batch of shirts in the beginning of the next school year in August!
I used to think that branding in a video advertisement was all about showcasing the company’s product, in terms of its functions and purpose. However, after this unit I now know that it is more than that. Creating an advertisement not only is to feature a company’s products, but it is also to capture the essence of the brand. The video is supposed to show the message the company stands for. In my case, I tried to communicate the carefree enjoyability of life experienced while still keeping up with one’s responsibilities. In the past, I never noticed or paid attention to the various symbols or metaphors companies included in their ads to help to speak to their message. Or how angles in filming can help express a character’s feelings or emotions. Now I understand how these aspects come into play with each other in order to produce an advertisement that can clearly communicate the company’s message. In my advertisement, I used a skateboard as a symbol showing that in order to reach your goals or your desired destination in life, you could take a skateboard, which is both fun, and quick with some safety risks involved. I believe that this was able to help express my message. I also didn’t consider how much research is put into an advertisement before producing the video to be able to understand the target audience better. After doing my own research for my advertisement, I learned several of my target group’s preferences. Therefore, I made sure to incorporate this into my advertisement, so that it would be both relatable and interesting. Overall, after this unit, I was able to learn new things and deeper my understanding on company branding and video production.
I became more aware of my own strengths and areas for growth during my previous school’s field studies trips, as we were required to reflect on our performance each day. One of the most memorable service days was my field studies trips to Telunas, Indonesia, wherein we visited a school to help them build a fence and interact with the many children that went there. I experienced challenges interacting with the students as there was a huge language barrier. Although we weren’t able to understand each other, we still had some fun. With the Global Issues Network club at my previous school, I had organized a walkathon to raise funds for buying a new Iron Giraffe for Water for South Sudan, which is used to dig up new wells. I had to discuss with several teachers, and different students to successfully plan the event. We experienced many challenges when planning, such as the unavailability of the venue, no volunteers available, etc. However, we persevered and found new ways around it. It was very great knowing how we had made a difference for a community in Sudan. We even went above our goal, in terms of money. Therefore, I feel that doing service is a great way to make a difference in the world and be more globally minded.