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ENGAGE

Focus Area | Investing in Local Communities
ENGAGE Hong Kong is a 6-month English programme bringing together community partners and private sector to work in collaboration to positively impact disadvantaged teenagers through mentorship, skills development and community engagement.

Created by International Business Leaders Forum and Business in the Community in 2002, “ENGAGE Key Cities” is an international network of employee community engagement projects designed to increase the impact of employee volunteering by bringing together companies to take action in the community. There are currently various ENGAGE projects in 35 cities internationally, and Community Business has been the designated partner in Hong Kong since 2008.

Held every year from March to September, ENGAGE Hong Kong aims to help alleviate poverty by empowering secondary school students (mentees) from disadvantaged backgrounds to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and achieve upward social mobility, including planning for higher education. At the same time, ENGAGE provides employee volunteers (mentors) with a meaningful opportunity to acquire new and transferable skills, such as coaching, communication and leadership skills to enhance both career and personal development, and give back to their community. 
 

Our Goal

  • Raise the career aspirations of mentees by enriching their skills and knowledge in future career planning and development
  • Develop enduring mentor-mentee relationships that inspire and encourage continuing personal growth and professional development of mentees
  • Promote multi-sector collaboration between the community and business sector in empowering and maximizing mentees’ strengths and abilities
  • Promote skills-based volunteerism and increase levels of employee engagement in participating companies

Watch our ENGAGE highlights video here

Watch the testimonial video from Aaron Lin, our ENGAGE mentee here

Listen to the insight from Andrew McGregor, our ENGAGE mentor here.

Programme Schedule

Stay tuned – we will update this space once ENGAGE 2019 programme is ready.

ENGAGE Mentees

ENGAGE Hong Kong Programme targets secondary 4 & 5 students (aged between 14-18), who are studying in Hong Kong’s poorest districts, including Sham Shui Po, Tin Shui Wai, and Tung Chung. They usually come from a disadvantaged background, such as low-income families, new arrivals or ethnic minorities, and have limited opportunity to participate and learn in an English environment.

Despite the limitations, they are:

  • Motivated to succeed
  • Hoping to receive advice and guidance from adult role models
  • Looking for opportunities to grow and develop
  • Wanting to build their confidence and English-speaking skills

Be a Volunteer Mentor

If you are looking for a well-structured and proven programme around youth and poverty alleviation, ENGAGE is the perfect programme for you to make positive changes to the lives of the disadvantaged in Hong Kong. Your participation will be life-changing as you build their confidence and capabilities which will not only open minds but also open doors to employment in the future.

Become an ENGAGE mentor and directly share your skills, stories, experiences, with the student mentees throughout this 6-month programme.

Getting Involved

1.  Be a Skills-Based Volunteer

Become a mentor to share your skills, experiences and stories with the student mentees over 6 months

We are also looking for trainers to facilitate career and soft skills training workshops, such as:

  • Effective Communication skills

 

2.  Be a Programme-Level Sponsor

Corporates and individuals can support ENGAGE through financial sponsorship. We strongly believe that sponsoring ENGAGE programme not only will match with your corporate social responsibility policy, it will also enable your company to earn additional brand recognition and organizational development benefits. Please contact us for details of sponsorship packages.

Corporates and individuals can also support ENGAGE through various in-kind contributions, such as:

  • Venue hosts
  • Training materials
  • Food & beverage
  • Transportation allowance
  • Consumable goods

 

3.  Be a Company Exploration Host

A company visit enables mentees to gain first-hand experience of a workplace in Hong Kong, expose them to a range of careers in the corporate world and motivate them to start planning for their future careers.

We are looking for corporates to host an interactive, half-day visit at your office for a group of 15-30 mentees.

Date: To be confirmed
Duration: Half-day session:

  • AM Session: 10:00am - 1:00pm; or
  • PM Session: 2:30pm - 5:30pm

Recommended activities include:

  • Conduct a workplace tour in your office
  • Introduce the key job functions, roles and career paths available
  • Invite 2 - 3 young employees to share their transition from school to work
  • Host experiential, interactive & engaging activities to introduce key skills to be successful in your workplace

Required Resources:

  • Contact person for coordination
  • Employee Volunteers to lead the half-day visit activities and to share experience of transition
  • Venue at your office where briefings, activities and debriefings can take place
  • Refreshments

 

4.  Be a Work Placement Host

Work placement opportunities provide invaluable horizon-expanding experiences to mentees. The mentees will formally apply for the placements and attend interviews to get a taste of the job application process from beginning to end. An inspirational work placement experience will include:

  • Experiencing the job application process through formal applications and attending job interviews
  • Exposure to different job functions and business meetings/events within the host company
  • On-the-job training opportunities to discover their strengths and potential, and to build their confidence to future career

We are now looking for diverse corporates across all industries to be work placement hosts for our ENGAGE student mentees during summer holidays!

Date: July to August 2019 (Exact dates to be confirmed)​
Duration: 1 week to 3 weeks
Number of Placement(s): At your discretion

Contact Us

For more information about ENGAGE 2019 please get in touch 

Supporting Organisations

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Testimonials

Becky Lee | ENGAGE Mentee 2017

Joining the Engage programme was such a fruitful experience for me that it benefited me in several ways, especially helping me planning my career path.

Thanks to my mentor, I have more confidence to communicate with foreigners in English. Though sometimes I didn't really understand her words, she explained to me clearly and encouraged me to...
Joining the Engage programme was such a fruitful experience for me that it benefited me in several ways, especially helping me planning my career path.

Thanks to my mentor, I have more confidence to communicate with foreigners in English. Though sometimes I didn't really understand her words, she explained to me clearly and encouraged me to speak up by complementing so I learnt that I should take the first step and try despite of challenges. Moreover, in the mentoring circle, we participated different workshops and activities together giving support and sharing our opinions to each other. For instance, our mentors scanned through our CV and cover letter and gave advice to us for improvement. They also shared their own experiences and tips on studying efficiently. Therefore, I gain lots of helps and motivation to achieve my goals and eventually got an internship during Summer holidays successfully!

It was not easy to apply for a work placement actually. Not only did we prepare for our CV and cover letter, we had formal interviews with the managers in different firms. To be honest, I was so nervous and stressed but owing to the workshops and mentor’s advice, as well as my hard work, I was selected to be an intern in a law firm Allen & Overy and a magazine publisher PEI Media.

It was such an unprecedented experience for me! I have never worked in a company before so I really understood more how a company run and communicated with experienced and professional colleagues. Getting close to lawyers can definitely motivate me to work harder. Indeed, being a lawyer is one of my aspirations in my life but it is extremely tough. Working in the office, I discovered that lawyers are always rushing and even overtime working while I seem like I am too free. They are really busy but still they are willing to spend time with the little interns, sharing about themselves. Thanks to their kindness sincerely. I know they studied so hard and passed the PCLL. As we all know, all of these are not easy so I strive to overcome all the obstacles and accomplish my dream with every effort. It is my goal to work in a large and comfortable office with friendly people in the future.

I realized that having a degree in university just helps us get the qualification to a profession. Working with people requires lots of skills, such as communication skills, collaboration skills, teamwork, etc. Just like what I experienced in A&O, we have to ask the colleagues once we encounter problems and divide work with students in order to work efficiently. However, we cannot learn these from textbooks. Therefore, apart from studying, I believe that having plentiful experience and broadening my horizons can color my life and help me grow up.

Through this precious opportunity, I believe I become more confident and mature which further develop myself in a successful way. It was crucial for us to learn about the business and community and enhance our self-belief and sense of belonging

Becky Lee | ENGAGE Mentee 2017

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William Du | Deputy Manager, K11 Concepts Limited | ENGAGE Mentor 2017

I enjoyed being a mentor for ENGAGE 2017 because the programme has been well designed and organized since 2008. I met amazing peers, workshop facilitators and more importantly had great opportunities to interact with youngsters from underprivileged schools for mentorship giving. Throughout half-year monthly gatherings, I was able to offer help the...
I enjoyed being a mentor for ENGAGE 2017 because the programme has been well designed and organized since 2008. I met amazing peers, workshop facilitators and more importantly had great opportunities to interact with youngsters from underprivileged schools for mentorship giving. Throughout half-year monthly gatherings, I was able to offer help the students on schooling, career and life at my capacity and learned a lot from them on their needs, difficulties and aspirations. I truly believe in the vision, mission and endeavour of Community Business for this ENGAGE programme, and have no doubt that the programme will continue flourishing.

William Du | Deputy Manager, K11 Concepts Limited | ENGAGE Mentor 2017

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Karen Tsui | ENGAGE Mentee, 2017

For me ENGAGE is a great programme, it gave us a great chance to see how the society works.

I learnt to write a CV and Cover letter by the help of my mentor. When preparing my interview with my mentor, I often need to face difficulties. However, l learnt that the most important thing is “learn from mistakes, grow from failures.”

ENGAGE...
For me ENGAGE is a great programme, it gave us a great chance to see how the society works.

I learnt to write a CV and Cover letter by the help of my mentor. When preparing my interview with my mentor, I often need to face difficulties. However, l learnt that the most important thing is “learn from mistakes, grow from failures.”

ENGAGE allows us to visit different companies we had never been and I think I would never get a chance to visit some of these companies. It really broadened my horizon. During the work placement, I worked in Time Auction. I have learnt some office skills and writing skills like writing a formal letter to our supervisor.

I am really thankful to my mentor Sil for teaching me wholeheartedly, and also her husband who gave me the opportunity working in his office for a day. Furthermore, thanks to ENGAGE and Time Auction for giving me chances to explore myself, I enjoyed the process very much.

Karen Tsui | ENGAGE Mentee, 2017

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Nicole Cho | Associate, Blackrock | ENGAGE Mentor, 2017

I got to know about Engage through my company, and signed up because I wanted to have more experiences with high school students in Hong Kong. Before I started the program, I had an expectation that I need to do some sort of “service” for the mentees. But throughout the mentorship program, I learned that the true mentorship is to be there, to...
I got to know about Engage through my company, and signed up because I wanted to have more experiences with high school students in Hong Kong. Before I started the program, I had an expectation that I need to do some sort of “service” for the mentees. But throughout the mentorship program, I learned that the true mentorship is to be there, to share the same goal, and work together. My mentee and I communicated a lot in English and Cantonese, and we prepared together for her internship interviews, which I believe helped her get the summer internship at Alibaba.

Looking back, I, myself, learned a lot as well about younger generation, various areas in Hong Kong , and even technology! It was indeed a fruitful six months which benefitted not only mentees but mentors. I am very grateful to be a part of this program.

Nicole Cho | Associate, Blackrock | ENGAGE Mentor, 2017

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