My Motivation to Forge Ahead in the Road of Social Services

Shum Chun Ming (GPAD/2)

Hok Yau Club “Outstanding Student Leaders Award” (OSL) was established in 2004 with the initiative of “More than you think.” Over 18 years, OSL has earned widespread acclaim and has fostered more than 4,000 potential students in Hong Kong to become future youth leaders with literacy and social responsibility.

I volunteered for OSL in 2020 and joined the Core Organising Committee in 2021–2022. We observed the development and changes in youth leaders over a year of service. To me, the 30 young people represented 30 different futures. They discovered their calling as leaders and looked for direction in living a life that has an impact. OSL was meaningful to me; it helped me become a better person in the early years, and now I would like to give back to the OSL community by providing ongoing motivation.

As a member of the Core Organising Committee, I was in charge of the training’s social immersion as well as the screening assessment. I thoroughly enjoyed investigating and debating social issues with youth leaders from a social science vantage point. Through social practices and workshops, it was hoped to provide youth leaders with a distinctive learning experience that went beyond dry clichés and theories. OSL valued youth leaders taking the initiative to identify issues in which they were genuinely engaged, as opposed to one-way education. Youth leaders were urged to have creative goals and develop a stakeholder-centreed strategy to address the issues. Meanwhile, my responsibility as their tutor was to aim for an advantageous environment in which they could think and act creatively; we collaborated and supported one another.

With the joint effort of every party, OSL 2021-2022 ran successfully under the challenges of the fourth and fifth waves of the pandemic. The Core Organising Committee organised a community visit and five online training and workshops. Youth leaders observed and identified the severity of the pandemic to children with rare diseases. They took the initiative to design an online workshop for local rare disease pressure groups to relieve sick children’s stress through games. In order to have a greater impact, they also used social media to spread awareness of rare diseases.

I would like to cite a proverb from my teacher at GPAD, “Society cannot be saved by Superman, but only by the unwavering devotion and goodness of millions of little men.” As long as someone is willing to adopt the impact-making belief, goodness and influence will continue to exist. We lack the means to fully comprehend our effects. However, we never give up on trying to transform one life at a time because we have an ingrained faith in people’s goodness. This is my motivation to forge ahead in the road of social services as well as my belief in working with youth.