Chief Executive Officer, Halogen Foundation
As Albert Einstein once said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
Looking back on the early days of the pandemic, the world was caught in a state of panic and many companies were affected by the unprecedented effects of COVID-19. Most businesses were fighting to stay afloat, while many had to throw in the towel. Thankfully, 2021 turned out to be a year of recovery and resilience for us.
With the pandemic raging on, we took the time to re-examine our approaches and developed new ways of engagement by moving our programmes online. Having explored different ways of engaging the youths, our team designed a virtual experience in Gather.town, where students can take part in an ‘Amazing Race’ to collectively solve a puzzle. This gave the students a chance to learn and adapt to a new digital environment.
We also started exploring digital business visits with schools, offering our Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) students the opportunity to better understand the various corporations, and to gain deeper insights on different career options - through interactions with industry professionals, virtual office tours, and Kahoot! games.
Our Academy team also took the time to regroup and rethink how we could enhance our curriculums to ensure a meaningful mentoring experience for youths, which led to the rebranding of our mentoring programme - now known as ELEMENTS. Through ELEMENTS, youths will be paired with mentors from established institutions, companies, and our Halogen+ community, to get a better understanding of who they are and what their abilities are, allowing them to acquire the knowledge and skills needed for the next phase of their life.
As our organisation adapted to cope with the changing nature of engagement, our volunteers were adapting in tandem with us by shifting fundraising efforts online and volunteering virtually. While we know that it has not been an easy transition, we appreciate the effort and time that our volunteers have given to our cause. We would not have been able to do what we do for our youths without the help from our volunteers, partners, educators and staff, and we are incredibly grateful for the support amidst the storms.
With the world constantly evolving and undergoing rapid changes, COVID-19 is merely an example of how change and new challenges will continue to arise. Hence, it is imperative that we do not become complacent and lose sight of our goals. In order to provide the best support for our youths, we need to remain relevant by keeping abreast of trends and adapting when needed. We hope to consistently inspire youths to be change-makers, by strengthening their character, mindset, and skillset to become the best version of themselves and to positively impact those around them.
Let us continue to engage and empower young people to make a positive impact in the community. Join us on this journey of shaping the next generation of leaders!