Service and Action

Service as Action Reflection 2018/19

9 May , 2019  

Service as Action Reflection

This school year, I involved myself in various service opportunities wherein I was able to develop international-mindedness, new skills, and a deeper understanding for the different issues around me. I participated in both direct and indirect service, ranging from beach cleanups and cookouts, to advocating for mental health and teenage suicide prevention.

7 Service Learning Outcomes 

 

How did you become aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?

‘Floatees’ Graphic Tee Design

For my ‘Service as Action’ project this year, I raised both awareness and funds for Teenage Suicide Prevention for the Samaritans Hong Kong, a suicide prevention organization, through an advocacy project, “Floatees”. I designed and sold graphic tees in order to break down the mental health stigma in Hong Kong. Through this experience, I became more aware of my strength in communication, in both verbal and non-verbal forms. I had to share my project through emails and short speeches with different organizations and individuals, urging me to present information and ideas in a clear, concise manner. Alongside this, I recognized my strength in relaying a message within graphic designs, a form of nonverbal communication. Within my design, I communicated that an individual should be able to receive professional mental health help without any societal barriers. I achieved this by using symbols and metaphors, wherein the boat represented an individual, and the waves represented the hardships one may face in life. Through the slogan, ‘Every boat needs a lifesaver,’ I communicate that sometimes people need help in life, and that should not be frowned upon.

Although, I still recognize some areas for growth. I learned that I need to develop my time management skills further, as  I underestimated how long the creative process would take as well as the possibility of different obstacles arising. This was my first time producing a product and properly releasing it, therefore, I was not so aware of how much time to allocate each task. As a result of this, I had to make constant changes to my action plan to ensure that my dates remained realistic and attainable. However, this experience gave me the opportunity to improve upon these organizational skills and my ability to think more logically.

 

How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?

For my ‘Service as Action’ project, I created a social media page on Instagram to advocate for the cause, as well as promote the shirts. On this page, I directed my followers where they could purchase the shirt and also provided information on where they could get help. After a couple days of promoting, a few different teens had reached out to me not only to thank me for creating my project, but also to ask for advice on their problems. At first, I felt intimidated and afraid about providing my input on their issues since I was not expecting these responses and did not want to provide advice that was incorrect. However, I realized that  they wanted the comfort in talking with a stranger their age, as we would be able to relate with each others experiences more. By undertaking this challenge, I developed empathy skills when taking the time to listen to their issues and develop well-thought out responses to help them in the best way I could.

 

How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?

My ‘Service as Action’ project called for the creation of promotional content and advertisements as I needed to market my product to my target audience to raise funds for the Samaritans. Therefore, I organized several photoshoots with models I had recruited from my grade to model the shirts. Upon organizing my first photoshoot at the end of October 2018, I experienced more difficulty as I was faced with various obstacles, which included the shirt delivery being delayed and a typhoon. However, I persevered through this and ensured that I remained in close contact with my models, and kept them regularly updated on the plan. In the end, after changing both shooting dates and locations, I managed to organize a successful photoshoot wherein I filmed my advertisement and took photos for social media posts and posters.

 

How did you persevere in action?

 

On September 15, 2018, I volunteered with the organization, the Story of Stuff, in a beach cleanup in Hong Kong’s Shek’O beach. We began the cleanup at 9 am in the morning, and finished around 3 pm, being under the harsh sun and lifting heavy bags of trash for most of the day. Although the intense heat was quite discouraging, I persevered and continued to help pick up trash and record data to be submitted to the Hong Kong government. Regardless of my discomfort, I felt motivated by both my peers and the desire in bettering the environment and ensured that I performed my responsibilities to the best of my ability.

 

How did you work collaboratively with others?

On March 16 of this year, I volunteered with the school’s ‘Cooking for a Cause’ club in visiting the Centre for Refugees Hong Kong to cook and serve meals for refugees. In order to cook the food in an organized and timely fashion, I had to work collaboratively with my fellow schoolmates and advisors in the centre. As a great quantity of food needed to be served, we distributed the different responsibilities into smaller groups. Within my group, we ensured that we remained on-task and focused on getting our job done so that the food may be served on time. Although I did not really know my fellow team members that well, we still were able to enjoy each others company and learn to work efficiently with one another.

 

How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding?

During my volunteer work at the Centre for Refugees Hong Kong, I was given the opportunity to speak with some of the refugees and hear about their background and stories. Although most of them were not so comfortable speaking English, I was still able to communicate with them using hand gestures and understanding basic words in Chinese. This experience really broadened my perspective as I learnt about the hardships of being a refugee in Hong Kong, which include not being able to purchase a home or apply for a job. I gained a new understanding for a refugee’s situation as I realized how difficult the situation must have been in their country of origin to find their current living in situation in Hong Kong much better. This experience not only allowed for me to grow more respect for these individuals, but also allowed me to feel grateful about my own life and the different opportunities available to me.

 

How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?

During my ‘Service as Action’ project, I had to be mindful when designing shirts for mental health advocacy as I needed to be sure that I would not offend anyone or communicate an unintentional message. I had to ensure that I remained respectful to those suffering from mental health illnesses, as that would be a hurtful message to promote to the impressionable youth. In order to prevent this, I sought peer feedback to determine whether the design was effective, but still appropriate for my target audience. As this project was trying to break down the mental health stigma, I also performed extensive research on how to properly advocate for this topic as I wanted to ensure that I was not provoking any offensive or inappropriate messages. Although I wanted to place seeking help for mental health in a more positive light, I did not want to belittle or form misconceptions about this issue.

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Mental Health

13 Apr , 2019  

Been journaling most nights every week now and been feeling great 😁 #thoughts via Instagram http://bit.ly/2IwQAtB

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Environmental Protection

9 Apr , 2019  

Although I ended up using a plastic cup (for takeaway), at least I skipped out the plastic straw for a metal one! ♻️ #environment via Instagram http://bit.ly/2UEL134

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Healthy Hydration

9 Apr , 2019  

Placing my water bottle on my desk to remind myself to drink 1-2 liters of water a day!! #hydration via Instagram http://bit.ly/2Z0eBiz

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Healthy Hydration

9 Apr , 2019  

Even when on SEASAC, I made sure to bring a large Coleman water bottle to keep hydrated during the Singapore heat ☀️💥💦 #hydration via Instagram http://bit.ly/2Ua7eSk

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Mental Health

1 Apr , 2019  

Gotta journal before hitting the hay 😴📓 #thoughts via Instagram https://ift.tt/2WEqLMg

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Movement & Fitness

1 Apr , 2019  

Can’t do sport for two weeks, but am still trying to be active in some way. Just did a home ab work out without the use of my ankle for around 20 minutes. #fitness but no #movement 🙁 via Instagram https://ift.tt/2uCNoV8

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Movement & Fitness

25 Mar , 2019  

Went to some late night touch training today to get the extra skills-focused training in for the day!! #fitness #movement #touchrugby via Instagram https://ift.tt/2JDXqQt

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Movement & Fitness

20 Mar , 2019  

Played an extra long touch game today with three 20 minute periods 🏃🏻‍♀️😴🏉 Although I am loving the physical activity 😁 #fitness #movement via Instagram https://ift.tt/2TTheTO

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Movement & Fitness

14 Mar , 2019  

Fitness 3 days in a row, and gonna be five on Saturday! Really trying to move everyday🏋️🏃🏻‍♀️ #fitness #movement via Instagram https://ift.tt/2UAxkij

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