CityU student selected Hong Kong Outstanding Youth Volunteer

Eliza Lee

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A Year 3 Department of Marketing student of City University of Hong Kong (CityU), Joe Kwok Lai-yi, was named the Hong Kong Outstanding Youth Volunteer by the Social Welfare Department due to her excellent voluntary contribution to the community.

Joe's enthusiasm for serving the community remains undiminished regardless of her hectic and demanding study schedule. Since Form 6, she has participated in various voluntary services, including teaching children in

impoverished rural areas on the mainland, helping the mentally handicapped enjoy outdoor activities, and regularly visiting the elderly. She has also helped organise youth cross-country competitions and fundraising activities, cultural programmes for CityU's student halls, and serving as a Student Ambassador. Her award is testament to the achievements of CityU's holistic approach to education and broader student development.

Joe was recommended and nominated for the award by Professor Zhou Nan, Head of the Department of Marketing, and Ms Chung Po-yi, Senior Counsellor of Student Development Services. While Professor Zhou praised Joe's strong leadership, politeness and willingness to help, Ms Chung commended her as an intelligent and enthusiastic student who is willing to take on challenges and responsibilities. Ms Chung also pointed out that Joe had shown an outstanding ability in organising and promoting activities and generating team spirit. Joe said she was delighted her hard work had been recognised by the community.

"I gain a lot from voluntary work as it enriches my life and makes me better understand our society. My basic principle behind performing voluntary services is to do whatever I can, whenever I can. Selling flags for charity organisations on Saturdays, for example, helps me to learn something new and expand my view of the world," said Joe.

Although allocating plenty of time to perform voluntary work, Joe has not forgotten about her academic studies. Her outstanding academic performance has won her many scholarships and awards. Joe understands the importance of time management, and makes the best use of time by not wasting too much time on entertainment. "I'd rather use my leisure hours for study. Sometimes my friends tease me that they have to make an appointment to have lunch together," she said.

The 2008-2009 Hong Kong Outstanding Youth Volunteers Scheme was organised by the Steering Committee on Promotion of Volunteer Service of the Social Welfare Department. It promotes voluntary work by selecting 20 outstanding volunteers aged between 14 and 24.

After being selected, Joe will now take part in various volunteer training programmes. For example, she will travel with other selected volunteers to Shanghai for exchanges this December. She hopes her experience can encourage more young people to participate in volunteer services. Also, she hopes to make use of her knowledge to help social service organisations promote public services in order to improve unemployment and foster continuous community support of people in need.

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