ThinkSeries Leaders 2013
Aaisha Abdul, CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School
Hey there! I’m Aaisha from CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School. I treasure every moment of life because it could be taken away from me in the blink of an eye. I try to live life to the fullest and try my hardest to not let an opportunity slip through my fingers because I don’t want to regret the things I didn’t do when I had the chance.
A lot of people have told me that I’m a cheerful person. Can’t say that I’m not. I love spending time with my friends and family, especially to have a good laugh. Even if I’m hurt, I try to keep it in me. I don’t like burdening people around me. If I am down, well, you’ll find me curled up in a corner reading. I love books, to me they’re not just stories but a chance to slip away from my life for a little while. And I love animals. Well, I actually hate insects or anything that’ll bite. The confused part of me? Well, when I’m trying to be funny, people look at me and go, “huh?”. And when I’m actually being serious, I get the polar opposite results. I’m still in the process of deciding if I’m actually funny or clueless.
Ronald Chiu, Wah Yan College Kowloon
Greetings! I am Ronald Chiu from Wah Yan College Kowloon, one of the learners in this year’s ThinkSeries Leadership Training Programme. I’m also Arnold Huci, if you jumble the letters up by using an anagram, not to be confused with the enneagram discussed in this very programme.
If I were given three words to describe myself, I would choose ‘inquisitive, creative and un-pragmatic ’
Inquisitive, because I am never satisfied with my present knowledge, and that every time I find a gap in my understanding of anything that interests me, be it ghost orchids or U-boats, Neo-gothic architecture or trilobites, I feel the irresistible urge to fill that gap, to find the answers, and to learn as much as humanly possible. Strangely enough and rather inexplicably, it’s not only the so-called ‘basic information’ I’m interested in, but often it’s the nitty-gritty details I’m more concerned about, not that I don’t bother looking on the wider scale of things.
A good example of how I tend to work is during projects, such as an English Literature project last year on Utopias. While I was supposed to be referring mainly to the provided book, I ended up reading on a great deal more, not just on ideological constructs but actual plans, such as self-contained bio-spheres or on a more futuristic scale, the O-Neil Cylinder, an ambitious design for a space colony.
Rather than focusing purely on technologically or socially feasible or in fact relevant topics, I often have the feeling that, reviewing what kind of knowledge I’ve been looking at, a topic’s relatedness to everyday life often has no whatsoever impact on my interest in it, which is exactly why, one of these days, you might catch me digging up entire volumes on deep-sea fauna or abyssal plains.
Although my love of knowledge has grown to be an integral part of my life, in my humble opinion, no matter how much one knows, one is still useless unless said knowledge is applied to real life. It is no use to have an entire hoard of knowledge that took years to accumulate, if one doesn’t know how to use it creatively and constructively. This is partly why I am so enthusiastic about the ThinkSeries Leadership Programme, as it is quite possibly the most challenging ‘project’ I’ve ever come across, and that it will surely be of great help to both my skills in applying knowledge and as a team-player.
I would like to think myself as creative, well, although in fact, every single person in the world should be capable of it, the problem lies in the fact that due to societal conditions and expectations as one grows up, creativity is often inhibited or discouraged, which is why the problem isn’t in whether one is creative or not but in whether ones dares to be creative, so perhaps it is not that I am creative, but that I merely go against the general trend of going-alongness, e.g. when making a banner, I would most likely try and pursue something which hasn’t been done before, say a transparent banner made up of interconnected cling-film slides.
Finally, I say that I am un-pragmatic, because in this materialistic world of ours, and especially in Hong Kong, it is almost taken for granted that everyone and anyone either wants to be a doctor, a lawyer, or a MBA holder, becoming either three will guarantee wealth, stability and prosperity. Instead of pursuing any of these lofty and doubtless promising but worldly-minded ambitions, my dream, or indeed goal, is to become a zoologist eventually. Not a veterinary, mind you, but a zoologist, nor a person who cures sick cats and dogs and has taken a Zoology degree to do so, but an actual zoologist who studies animals in detail. It may seem curious at first glance but I feel that this passion for studying various creatures, not only mammals or birds but smaller, more easily-dismissed critters such as reptiles, amphibians, insects or arachnids, that has made me less of a money/social status-oriented person and more of an un-pragmatic, unconventional thinker.
This year’s theme is ‘Your Voice, Your Choice’, I hope to bring both to the programme and last but not least, my own inquisitiveness, creativity and unconventionality.
Cecil Hoo, Queen's College
I am Cecil Hoo. I am from Queen's College and I am 17. I love music. I play the piano and I love Chopin most. Recently I have started doing some music composition. It’s quite difficult. You need both creative ideas and skills. But I enjoy creating the sounds, the sonority and the beauty of music. I joined the programme with my friend Jon from school. He is more talkative than me. Thanks to his hard work hardwork and organizational skills, we got the work done on time. He dealt with most of the technical stuff. He is the true leader. Anyway, I met great people and some rather peculiar individuals. It was definitely a remarkable experience.
Heather Hsu, St Paul's Secondary School
Hi everyone! I'm Heather Hsu from St. Paul’s Secondary School. I'm an optimistic perfectionist, who really loves to talk and would burst into laughter with no reason. People say practice makes perfect and I do believe that. I always try to finish things before hands, trying to make them as good as possible. I love putting a big smile on my face all the time as I want to make people around me feel warm and happy. But then, whenever I start working, I will always put myself into the serious mood. I am always harsh in pushing others and I to meet the target, thus, sometimes the relationship between my mates and I would be quite tense.
Satara Iiyas, CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School
Hello everyone! I am Satara, a form 3 student from CMA choi cheung kok secondary school. Before introducing myself I want to share with you all what does Satara means, which many people don’t know. It means “star”, cool right?! I really like my name. So talking about myself, the first two things that can describe me are “carefree” and “kind”. I am the kind of person who can’t bear to see anyone be unhappy or cry. Also I am a funny person, I like going on adventures and traveling. I love painting. It’s like I can express everything and every thought just by using colors. I also love music. I can forget about the whole world while I am listening songs. I like thinking differently and I tend to look on the bright side of things.
One more thing that describes me the most is that I’m a really lazy person, but if I plan to do, I can do everything real fast.
“Listen to many, speak to a few” and “Be great in act, as you have been in thought” are my favorite quotes by Shakespeare.
Karen Lai, POCA Wong Siu Ching Secondary School
Hello! I am a form five student from POCA Wong Siu Ching Secondary School. I love having fun and taking part in different activities, that was why I joined this program.
I was really surprised when I got a call from ThinkSeries asking me why I wasn’t there in the lessons. I was actually selected! Due to some mailing errors, I didn’t know the good news. Therefore, I had missed the first few training lessons (and I was pretty nervous at first when I went to class). But then it turned out quite fine. Everybody was friendly and I never felt left behind. I gained my confidence back then. And in the end, I made a dozen of good friends.
I had been working with my teammates for more than two months, the whole project was carried out by us, from doing research, handing out questionnaires, analyzing data to presenting the ideas. I have indeed learnt a lot of useful skills. The whole project would not have been finished if it wasn’t for the efforts made by everyone. We supported each other and had lots of fun spending time working (and playing for sure!). It was a worthy experience where I learnt from different people, with different personality and from different schools. Also, I learnt to see myself more differently. It was a rare opportunity and I was so lucky to be a part of it!
Ann Lam, St Paul's Convent School
I am Ann Lam from St. Paul’s Convent School. This programme gave me an extraordinary opportunity to understand myself. It was also a unique experience for me. In the past, before this programme, I did not know how to interact and socialise with others well. I thought that no one would understand my own inner world. I tried to become more acquainted with the people around me. However, it was futile in the end. Frankly, how could I demand others to do things which even I could not do?
In this world, there are people with different personalities, with diverse strengths and also weaknesses. By learning about the Enneagram of Personality through this programme, I learnt how to accept and to appreciate everyone’s distinct characteristics. This helped me show others that I do care about them. A little smile from the bottom of our hearts could easily melt others’ cold and emotionless face away and replace it with the warmth of a radiant grin.
Each time I work with others as a team, my social and leadership skills are put to the test. Even though my teammates and I encountered countless difficulties and even had disputes with each other, we did not give up. By adapting myself to the different styles of different teammates, accommodating each other’s needs and trying to understand each other’s background and personality, my team and I were then able to present our work successfully and beautifully in the end. More importantly, I met and befriended many wonderful students from a variety of schools across Hong Kong. Together we were like a family. With them I could enjoy the happiness of friendship and the pleasure of sharing interests and passions with each other.
I must thank everyone for giving me the chance to further spiritually enhance myself. I truly hope that I could subsequently apply everything I learnt here into my life in the future. By giving my caring heart to anyone in need, I hope I would make the world a better place for everyone.
Charlotte Lam, St Stephen's Girls' College
Hi there! I am Charlotte, a Form 4 student from St. Stephen’s Girls’ College. For me, to describe myself has always been a difficult task – I will just try to present this as eloquently as possible.
People say that I am socially adept, have an ever-ready smile, and am brave enough to speak up, to express myself. Well, I am sure most people have a social facade, but as I see it, this persona might just be a bit more than who I really am. I am cheerful most of the time and can be quite witty, though emotional and easily stressed out by caring too much, putting my all into my work and striving for high standards. I am also very perceptive, especially towards other’s needs, intuitive and imaginative and like to seek out poetry or simply quotes that I find beautiful as they often show something true about the world around me. I prefer to have a few close intimates rather than many casual acquaintances, which I do, and although challenging to achieve, I wish to be completely honest with myself and to be vulnerably seen, stripping away layer after layer that is false, to truly establish connection with people, to truly have people in my army.
I am very glad to be one of the THiNKSeries leaders this year. Honestly speaking, I have not really been thinking about just what I might gain from this programme. Yet, one thing is certain, that I am going to get my head in the game – to meet new people, to know what I do not know, to inspire and be inspired, to broaden my horizons and, by the end of this year, to have absolutely no regrets.
Zenith Li, St Rose of Lima's College
Hello there, everyone! This is Zenith here, currently attending St. Rose of Lima’s College in Secondary 4. I’m not a hundred percent sure that everyone here knows anything about the Enneagram thingy. Well, certainly some have been acquainted with this I reckon, but still I’ll explain that to you in case you haven’t heard about it. The Enneagram is a kind of personality type test, and which can divide each and every one of you into nine different groups of people who possess diverse natures. I’ve checked on which type I’m from all the way through the first two meetings. And the results have come up: Type Seven, the Enthusiast. I suppose if you know me well enough, that’s not hard to guess. Alright, so let me briefly introduce myself in the midst of the Enneagram type I’m in. I’m enthusiastic about almost everything that catches my attention, which simply means that I approach life with curiosity, optimism, and a sense of adventure, like kids in a candy store who look at the world in wide-eyed, rapt anticipation of all the good things they are about to experience. I constantly seek new and exciting experiences, but can become distracted and exhausted by staying on the go. There are indeed both positive and negative sides of every Enneagram types, but the main point is, we should look at the dark sides, and try to alter them one by one. Well, I’m not certain if I can be able to do it, but I’ll definitely try to work on that in no doubt.
Phoebe Lo, St Mary's Canossian College
Hi everyone! My name is Phoebe. I’m from St. Mary’s Canossian College. To describe myself, I think I’d use the word ‘cheerful’. I always like to make things funny and ease the tension. And I love smiling because I think laughter is the best cure for everything.
Stephen Ng, Sing Yin Secondary School
Hi! I am Stephen from Sing Yin Secondary School. One thing special about me is I am not that good in at expressing myself. I am delighted that I can be one of the Thinkseries leaders. Through the program we have acquired so many indispensable skills, such as how to bring the team together, how to utilize everyone’s strength, etc. I can still remember one of the themes we were designated for this year’s presentation: Be the best person you are. Before the project I occasionally wished I could change my personality and be the same as someone popular or sociable. After studying the Enneagram of Personality and other useful examples, I learn that we can all be good leaders of our own styles and we have to accept our own personality traits. One more thing, we observed is under different appearances, strengths and weaknesses, we may all share similar experiences. There are more people who can understand and help us than we think.
Through the program we have also learnt how to negotiate and keep the team on track. I was in quite a large team and in fact we had disputes over the topic in the beginning of the project. We also had piles of other difficulties like teammates’ busy schedules and different expectation towards our project. However we carried on to adapt to one another’s pursuits and managed to finish our work. And I must thank everyone for accepting me for who I am, a social freak. What’s more we became more familiar with one another through this meaningful learning experience --- A whole new experience where students have their say on how they learn instead of just receiving orders from the adults. Hope everyone who sees this passage could join us and become next year’s Thinkseries leaders!
Florence Pang, CUHKFAA Chan Chun Ha Secondary School
Hi everyone~ Florence is here! I am a form four student from CUHKFAA Chan Chun Ha Secondary School. If I need to use several words to describe myself, ‘persistent’, ‘optimistic ’ and ‘dazzling simile’ are the most felicitous words would have used. In my school, I am the person who would smile all the time, even when facing adversities.
My friends often call me “Winnie the Pooh”. When I face difficulties in my studies, I would go to the park to refresh my brain. Then, new ideas would often spring into my mind in order to help me disentangle the difficulties. I don’t mind that resolution is the most perfect solution or not but I will prone on how many things I can gain from the challenges and I believe I can be successful in the end. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” always inspires me to keep going for my dreams.
From this Think Series Leadership Program, I wish I can meet more friends from different schools and become an authentic leader!
Celine Tam, St Paul's Secondary School
Hello everyone! Here is Celine from St.Paul's Secondary School. I am a cheerful and easy-going girl. I believe smiles can shorten the distance between people. I am a shy girl . I don't have the confidence to speak in front of a group of people. My thoughts are only organized when I am with my group-mates.
I strongly believe that everyone has their own strength. I am glad to tell you all that I have found who I am and why I am a great learner. It started when I applied for Think Series, I started thinking of who am I. We were selected as leaders. Every leader sure got brilliant qualities right? Throughout the program, I discovered a lot of treasures. Let me share some with you. The first day I stepped into the room, I had like 0% confidence, and I was worrying about stupid things. But throughout this half years’ time, I found out who I am and how I can learn well ( everyone is different!!). My confidence grew bigger each and every time I understand a bit more about myself. In the end, I can come out confidently and share with all of you.
I would like to ask in what way do you prefer to learn? By directly getting answers? Or by getting an answer through the entire journey? Before I joint, I was one of those who waited for module answers. However, after passing through these harsh times of trying, I found it fun to try and face failures and succeed. Things I experience personally were the 'real' knowledge I got. With no direct answers from my teachers, I first found it hard and messy, but by trying and working, we found our own method of learning.
Before I end my lengthy sharing, I would like to tell each one of you try to step out of your comfort zone, and there will be a brand new world waiting for you! I am there already and heading to a new one, don't hesitate, find yours!
Joshua Tam, Wah Yan College Kowloon
I am Joshua Tam, a Grade 10 student from Wah Yan College, Kowloon. Let me introduce to all of you something about myself first. I am an outspoken, easy-going and optimistic young man. A lot of people that are not close to me have often misunderstood me as a pessimistic, introvert and melancholy man, who is an ineffable enigma. Actually I am the exact opposite. Winston Churchill once said, ‘Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen’, I have always preferred to express my opinions in any situation vocally and also listen to those of my peers, friends and others. I do care about the people who are close to me, but also the ones that I am unfamiliar with. Those are the characteristics that I, unfortunately, have not come to be known as. In order to justify myself, it is necessary for me, as a student leader, to stand out and speak out for the majority, but also for the minority, for the aims, which I think are beneficial for the masses.
Speaking of my interests, I am intrigued by almost everything. From sports to music, from science to linguistics, I seek to be an all-rounded person, not to turn a blind eye to anything, so as to live a fruitful and, above all, joyous life. Therefore I am full of unique thoughts and ideas, which I hope would benefit and enlighten others so as to make them better people.
Heidi Ng, St. Paul’s Convent School
Hello, everyone! I am Heidi Ng from St. Paul’s Convent School, one of the participants in the ThinkSeries Leadership Programme.
To begin with, let me briefly share with you my disposition, giving you a basic idea of me. Firstly, I am a girl who tends to have a positive frame of mind. Whenever I set my goal, I go for it without a hesitation about whether I will succeed at the end or not, as I truly believe that ‘He who likes cherries will soon learn to climb’, as people always say. Whenever I fall behind at my academic or non-academic performance, I encourage myself again to do better next time. Whenever I am in face of challenges, adversities and difficulties, I never give up or break down, but I keep reminding myself that ‘Where there is a will, there is a way.’ In short, I strongly believe that only with a positive and optimistic attitude can my life be enlivening, hopeful and incredibly wonderful.
Secondly, I am a girl who loves depending on independence. Having an introverted and serene nature, I really enjoy the freedom of working, studying, listening to music and reading on my own, instead of doing all these activities in a clamorous and noisy environment ----- That’s undesirable for me!
Thirdly, I am also a girl who is very focused on my work, rather than being a close friend of emotions. Whenever I do my tasks, I am very dedicated and focused, without being bubbling over with exhilaration, carried away by thrill, succumbed to the spell of grief and sadness. The reason behind this is that I realize only then can help me achieve the highest efficiency in all the work that I have done.
Jonathan Wong, Queen's College
It has been an honor for me to become one of the leaders of the 2013 ThinkSeries leader Program. Throughout this journey, I have not only gained precious experience on how to work as a team, but also met a new bunch of friends whom I will treasure for the rest of my life.
So what is leadership, as this program promotes? Throughout this journey, I have come to realize that leadership comes in all different forms. It can be as simple as leading yourself to do something you think is right. Or it may be something big such a leading a big company to reach its business goals. It can be anything. When leading a team, I do not think of ordering people to do this or that. It is not about showing to everyone who the boss is. It is actually about using your ability to raise the overall performance of the ones around you. As a leader, I think you have to challenge the ones around to step out of their comfort zones, which we have always talked about in the program, and to let your peers know that you have their back. Being bossy has caused problems for me in my entire life. I would always want things to be done in my way. It turns out that I have been blinded by myself. My ways may not always be the best way. It is crucial to let the others do things their way and then compromise. It would make the product much better and more fruitful. Also as a leader, you have to take what you have got. It means that we cannot force things. Learn to live with the things we have. It is the same with life. If you’re born poor, live with it and move on, make the best out of yourself. In the program, we all have been hindered by our school work; some of my teammates could not come to every meeting. We had to live with it; we had to do their jobs for them. It would be no use if we were fed up with it, it would do no good. Once the famous basketball player Magic Johnson said that ‘Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates.’ Leaders do not order others to carry the load; they carry the load for others. That’s what I think leadership is all about.
Apart from leading, it was an unbelievable experience for me. I was able to play with all kinds of Apple technology, able to design a project from scratch, and, on top of all, experience the journey with all the other wonderful leaders. Each of them bring a different element to the pack. It has been a pleasure - working with them all, especially the ones in my group. I know they had to face the ridiculous, bad tempered person in me, but I am glad that they were able to withstand me and pull this project together. All the other leaders have become not only my friends, but also my teachers. It was an incredible experience for me; it was one to be treasured down the road.
Sharon Yuen, Maryknoll Convent School (Secondary Section)
Hey everyone! The name’s Sharon Yuen. I’m a 14 year old, form 3 girl, studying in Maryknoll Convent School.
Introducing myself might actually be one of the hardest things to do. The reason is actually very simple. There is just too little and too much to talk about. I find it very hard to define myself. I don’t really fit into any group. “I’m not popular, but I’m not unpopular. I’m not a jock, but I’m not inept at sports. I’m not a nerd, but I’m not a slacker. I guess it sounds like I’m pretty average. But I’m not that.” (from Something Like Fate; By Susane Colasanti) I guess this quote pretty much says it all.
I guess you could say I’m a dreamer. When I dream, I dream big. When I dream big, I dream true. I have a dream … a dream to make a difference, a dream to make a change, not just in our school, but in our society, in our world.
And ThinkSeries is the best place to start.