Community awareness projects prepare first year students for professional career

Eliza Lee

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First year students from the Department of Applied Social Studies (SS) presented their Community Awareness Projects (CAP) and learning experiences at the X-Gala award presentation ceremony, "Project X: Learning Excellence," on 20 August at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

Project for Learning Excellence (Project X) was launched in 2008 as a year-long non-credit-bearing training programme to encourage SS students to be lifelong learners, community contributors and competitive future job candidates. CAP is one of the out-of-classroom elements in Project X for all Year 1 students. Other activities include workshops, leadership training camps, outward-bound camps, a mentorship programme and participation in social and educational networking communities.

Speaking at the award presentation ceremony, Professor Paul Lam Kwan-sing, Vice-President (Student Affairs), described the first year as the most important in university life. “A good start is half way to a successful outcome. Project-X has taught students to be responsible with a strong sense of commitment towards our society,” said Professor Lam.

Professor Alex Kwan Yui-huen, Head of SS, said Project-X echoed CityU’s professional education philosophy and contributed to the future well-being of society.

Professor Martin Painter and Dr Alice Chong Ming-lin, Acting Dean and Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences respectively, Dr Eva Wong Chow Yee-wah, Director of Education Development Office, and Mr Dominic Lai, Alumni Association of SS were ceremony participants and judges for Best CAP, Best Sharing and Best Show.

CAP motivates the students to be sensitive to issues and people, and understand the needs of specific communities. They need to devise programmes to raise public awareness on the small voices of such communities. The theme and format of CAPs are decided by students. This year they selected five issues in which they have devised programmes to bolster community awareness; problem gamblers, teenage girl drug addiction, love and dating at university, gifted student education in Hong Kong, and adventure-based counselling for the elderly.

Hannah Yau Ching-han’s team, which carried out counselling for the elderly received the Best CAP, Best Show and Most Popular CAP awards. She said Project-X provided a good opportunity for personal insight as well as developing teamwork skills. Her team trained a group of senior citizens in Tsz Wan Shan to also help serve the community.

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