LO5: Demonstrate the skills and recognise the benefits of working collaboratively.
With Season 1 concluded, the leadership positions within my Jakarta Street Kids GC have been shuffled, and a new round of student leaders have replaced this year’s G12s in terms of leading the Global Concern. I decided to submit an application for the position of Chair due to my interest in getting more involved and “hands-on” with the Concern. I have always participated in fundraisers and in organising activities for GCs (Gili Eco Trust in IGCSE, especially), so I would like to pursue perhaps a different route in service; though I expect to (and wish to continue!) have a role in participating in facilitating, organising and managing fundraisers and other Service-led activities, I also want to understand the inner workings of the GC, and view from the inside what a leader position truly entails. Despite not expecting so, I was positioned as vice-chair, and am happy to say that I now have a more active role in the GC. So far, as vice-chair, I haven’t done much (mostly due to the fact that we have recently concluded a major fundraising activity [Swim For Life]) yet, apart from taking “Minutes” (a logging document) in our meetings, I look forwards to collaborating with my peers within the Service and setting new goals and fundraisers that we will hope to achieve. I sincerely hope this year in Jakarta Street Kids will be a productive and fruitful one, not only in terms of the service work we hope to achieve, but also in helping me develop my own organisational and communication skills, and being able to assume a hands-on role in a somewhat large group (with JSK numbering easily in ~30 people).
LO2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process.
Swimdonesia 2019 was a great start to my service year. Working not only with Jakarta Street Kids but also with a multitude of others, such as Gili Eco Trust and Bali Sharks, it was a great experience not only in raising funds, but also in getting a better understanding of the service process. I had previously worked on Swimdonesia during my time in Gili Eco Trust (mostly managing the merchandise stall for both Gili and Bali Sharks), but also enjoyed managing the food stalls, selling first a drink and later cotton candy. The turnout of people was overall very good, and it was a generally positive service experience, despite some marked issues that were discussed in the following Jakarta Street Kids service session (issues include the popcorn machine being broken, forcing us to use a microwave to prepare the snack [requires more thorough checks to equipment before a fundraiser], there being a significantly higher turnout for snacks such as pizza [as well as us buying too much pizza, eventually “wasting money”], and the fact that people began slipping away from the fundraiser towards ~5:30 [we may need to work on something to keep people consistently engaged throughout the duration of the event, allowing for the maximum amount of fundraising]). I am glad to see that me moving to Jakarta Street Kids has not significantly impacted my enjoyment of GCs compared to Gili Eco Trust in the slightest.
LO 1: How has my involvement with this activity made me aware of my strengths and areas for growth?
This year, my sign-up to the Yearbook Committee was something of an accident; despite not signing up for it during the actual activity sign-up, I tagged along with a friend to one of the lunchtime sessions on Friday, seeing as I have a free block on the last block on Friday, and I was signed up as part of the marketing team. Thus far, it has been quite an enjoyable experience. Having read the yearbook and bought it every year, it is very interesting to be an active member in the long, complex process of actually making it. As member of the marketing team, it is my, along with the two other teammates I have, responsibility to draft emails, E-brief, and Google form. It has been interesting to draft these out, and collaborating with other teams has also been very enjoyable.
I am also intrigued to have been included into the marketing team, not only by circumstance (coming along with a friend who was part of the team), but also by my skills; certainly, I would say I am capable to managing, sending, and keeping track of emails. However, I have little to no experience with graphic design, so producing advertisements in future for the yearbook may be a challenge. Overall, though I am somewhat out-of-my-depth in terms of what I am supposed to do, and somewhat unsure as to what, precisely, my role within the Yearbook committee is, I am looking forwards to the next year within the group.
LO 1: What previous experience have I had with an activity like this?
As a member of Philosophy Club for the previous two years, it was an obvious choice for me this year. Despite not registering for any of the three aspects of CAS (Creativity, Activity, and Service), it is an activity that greatly interests me. Despite calling itself “Philosophy Club”, I am glad that it is not as elitist or stuffy as some aspects of philosophy; instead of focussing excessively on various schools of thought, it is much more akin to a constant discussion. A theme is established for the session, and we end up discussing it. There is no discrimination against new ideas, and even someone who has never studied philosophy, or participated in the conversation before, is welcome, and encouraged to, contribute an idea, no matter how big or small. I find it to be a great opportunity to relax at the start of the week, and just discuss and debate some interesting questions, that I usually would not have given much thought beyond of the class.
Overall, I would say that I am already significantly well-informed on Philosophy club, given my attendance in previous years, so I am not entering an unfamiliar or foreign environment; despite this, I still see Philosophy club as a welcome challenge in my everyday (weekly) life, as it gives me the adequate time to sit down and actually reflect and dive into questions that I would normally not have the time, or (at times) the motivation to contemplate. This, I feel, allows me to become a more holistically minded and open person, and I look forwards to the year to come for Philosophy Club.
Thus far, I am very happy with my selection of Memoirs of the Pioneer Generation, held on Thursdays from 3:00 to 4:30, as my Grade 11 service. I initially chose it because the idea interested me; while throughout grade 9 and grade 10 I had done Sun-Dac as my Service, and, there, had participated in a wide variety of activities with various differently abled clients, I was intrigued by the idea of collaborating with, interviewing, and eventually recording (and perhaps even publishing) the various experiences of this older generation, with them being the metaphorical “foundation” of modern Singapore (hence the name, “The Pioneer Generation”). I find it highly important to keep in touch with the past and to not forget the older generation, and am also very much impressed with our first visit to the actual facility; the staff are friendly and the clients there equally so. The process leading up to interviews is open-ended and also interests me. Overall, I look forwards to a year of new connections and a greater understanding not only of the older generation, but of the history of Singapore, and am happy to be an active member in the process of gathering information (via interviews) to later be published, either digitally or in a physical book.
Boxing/Muay Thai was a somewhat obvious pick for me as a sport/Active activity (A in CAS). Having done it for now almost 3 years, I have familiarised myself with the activity, the sport, and the techniques, and I also am receptive to many different training methods and various exercises. This year, I expect to push myself in improving my power and technique; even though general fitness is always a goal I never want to lose sight of, I think that I am sufficiently well-acquainted to the sport to begin to push myself into specialising and improving the smaller things. Thus far, I do not regret in any way my choice to take it as a sport; it is exhilarating, physically demanding, and is also a great way to spend time with friends. It also fits very well into my schedule, with my doing it from 3:00 to 4:30 on Tuesdays, followed by Initiative for Peace from 4:30 to 6:00. Overall, I am very much looking forwards to the year of boxing to come, and am anticipating new techniques and developing new skills.
Joining Jakarta Street Kids was not an easy choice to make; having been an active member of the Global Concern Gili Eco Trust in both Grade 9 and 10, part of me felt primed to jump right back into it, seeing as I had very much familiarised myself with all the GC’s goals, concerns, and aims. However, this familiarity was exactly what drove me to select Jakarta Street Kids as my Global Concern; I had been an active member in fundraising and maintenance for Gili, and I felt now was a good time to expand myself into a new area of GC that I hadn’t worked with before. Whilst Gili was very much an environmentally-oriented Global Concern, Jakarta Street Kids is very much humanitarian. This difference notwithstanding, I find that both services have some very interesting similarities; both sell products made from upcycled “junk” products, and both are involved in similar fundraisers (this week’s upcoming “Swimdonesia” event springs to mind, as well as other general service opportunities such as the Family Festival). My now-graduated brother, who was formerly a member of Jakarta Street Kids, may also be a reason I joined this GC; I wanted to try something new, but also familiar enough. From what I have experienced thus far, I expect a year of service not dissimilar to the one I did last year, but with a new leaning, and a new goal.
I have chosen Initiative For Peace this year as an activity, both for it counting as “Creative” (I normally would have auditioned for the drama production, but I didn’t feel particularly inspired by this year’s one. Seeing as I head heard some very good things about IFP from some family friends, I felt that it was something that was worth incorporating into my year) and for it being an experience unlike any other that I had attempted before. Whilst I was not entirely foreign to the idea of hosting conferences to raise political understanding in especially hostile parts of the world (my prior experience with MUN in Middle School had helped me grasp the organisational concepts behind a conference, and my interest in Global Politics, as both a school subject and a discipline, means I keep up-to-date on many such points of contention in the modern world), I loved the premise of being an active member in hosting the conference; in managing the various activities, researching what concepts like “conflict”, “peace”, and “tolerance” really are, and generally entering an environment I was not accustomed to before. Thus far, I am very content with my IFP experience, and definitely do not regret signing up for it. It fits perfectly well into my schedule (on Tuesday I do Boxing/Muay Thai from 3:00-4:30 and then IFP from 4:30-6:00, meaning I am able to do both within a single school day), and I am also surprised (happily) at the large number of people who have signed up for it; with what I believe is well over 60 people in my grade being part of it, it also constitutes a valuable opportunity to view, discuss, and gain an understanding of new viewpoints and perspectives, which I would not have otherwise been privy to. I am very much looking forward for the year of IFP to come.