ENGAGE Journey of Opportunity Programme: Dare to be!

ˇ§Fantastic programme! More great opportunity for the future.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.ˇ¨

ˇV Mentee Participant, ENGAGE programme 2010. Hong Kong

The mentee, a resident of Tin Shui Wai, a city that in the past has been referred to as Hong Kongˇ¦s City of Sadness, expressed a hope for the future after participating in last yearˇ¦s ENGAGE programme. The mentee, however, was not alone, 59 other young mentees discovered the same confidence and excitement in their engagement with corporate mentors.

For the past three years, Community Business has organised a mentoring programme in collaboration with its Participating Companies. Last year, 60 corporate volunteers (the mentors) from 18 companies mentored 60 youth (the mentees) from Tin Shui Wai. 2010ˇ¦s programme included a number of components that have persisted from previous years. This included such components as the Journey of Opportunity Action Day, where mentors and mentees visited university campuses, corporate offices and began to build a trusting and exalting relationship, as well as a ˇ§Disney Dayˇ¨ where mentors and mentees joined each other for a day of fun at the ˇ§happiest place on earthˇ¨, Hong Kong Disneyland.

Yet 2010 included a number of new and exciting components. Mentees benefited from online mentoring sessions that allowed mentors to continue to provide their mentee with valuable insights and examples about the world of higher education and work even though they were unable to meet face-to-face. Community Business also added the Community Action Day which saw mentees and mentors volunteer their time at Crossroads, an international NGO that sends needed resources to disadvantaged people around the world. Mentees learned that they, too, could give back to their communities.

Indeed, the ENGAGE 2010 programme was filled with a large number of components providing a great impact on the Tin Shui Wai youth and corporate volunteers that mentored them. Still, Community Business and our Participating Companies are determined to improve the programme and provide 2011ˇ¦s youth with even more to look forward to.

So in addition to carrying over all of the components found in the 2010 programme, Community Business will be adding some additional, exciting activities. To start with, the programme will be expanding from 3-months to 8-months ˇV giving mentors and mentees a much longer opportunity to bond and share experiences. Career Workshops have also been added to help youth develop their interviewing and resume drafting skills.

Furthermore, Community Business and our Participating Companies have decided to open the programme to youth from Sham Shui Po, in addition to Tin Shui Wai. Indeed, the youth of Sham Shui Po are in some need of support and encouragement. Sham Shui Po residents have the lowest median earning income of all the districts in Hong Kong. There is enormous scope for the corporate sector to drive positive change in this area and it is hoped that the ENGAGE Mentoring Programme and our Participating Companies will go some way in driving this change.

Like previous years, Community Business and our Participating Companies are committed to empowering youth with skill-sets that will help them progress in their education and careers. We hope that increased interaction with corporate mentors, who have been challenged in various aspects of their lives and who have been inspired by previous generations of mentors, will encourage our mentees to dare to dream, to dare to be different and to dare to believe in themselves.

If you are interested in becoming a Participating Company or simply want to learn more about the programme, please contact Sandy Chan, ENGAGE Journey of Opportunity Programme Project Manager by email sandy@communitybusiness.org or telephone (852) 2152 1889.



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