Dream Big‧Get Ready The EOC encourages youths to break stereotypes
The first sharing session of “Career Challenge 2011/12”, a youth mentorship programme organized by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), was held today (20 January 2012). Miss Prudence Mak, the Founder and Creative Director of Chocolate Rain, a local brand, was the first guest mentor. She shared with more than one hundred secondary school students her experience in breaking stereotypes and overcoming challenges when she first started her venture.
More guest mentors will also meet the youths to share their way to success during the school year. They include: Mr. Jaspal Singh BINDRA, Group Executive Director & CEO of Asia, Standard Chartered Bank; Mr. Allen CHAN, Vice-chairperson of the Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth; Ms Mary Pandora CHEUNG, Recipient of the Hong Kong Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award; Miss Sarah LEE, Guangzhou Asian Games Gold Medalist (Cycling); Mr. Kim MOK, MH, Chairman of the Hong Kong Network for the Promotion of Inclusive Society Ltd; Mr. Kenny SO, Outstanding Warriors of Regeneration Society; Ms Kay TSE, a popular singer; and Miss Kitty YUEN, a renowned radio host.
Mr. LAM Woon-kwong, Chairperson of the EOC, said, “Discrimination is an all-pervasive monster. We are all under constant risk of being instilled with prejudice and hence likely to stereotype and discriminate against others, which only serves to limit our own development. To fight against discrimination, we have to broaden our thinking, and remind ourselves to embrace a wider perspective. We clearly benefit ourselves and others if we are able to accept, respect and appreciate different people. Guest mentors’ sharing can act as a positive influence for our teens. The stories of how they overcame barriers to find success can inspire the young people to discover their potential and challenge stereotypes.”
To be in line with the New Senior Secondary (NSS) Academic Structure, “Career Challenge 2011/12” has been registered as an “Other Learning Experience (OLE) Programme” in the Activity Data Bank of the Education Bureau. The participation hours for this programme may be taken into account for the planning of the students’ OLE. Some of the participating students will be trained as programme hosts to interview guest mentors during the sharing sessions, and continue spreading the message of equal opportunities in their school and community later. The EOC has been organizing “Career Challenge” since 2002, and this year marks the tenth anniversary of the program. Through this youth mentorship programme, the EOC calls on the youths to take actions to eliminate discrimination and to choose their career path according to their interest and abilities rather than stereotypical thinking. The programme is an essential part of the EOC’s efforts to build a pluralistic and inclusive society. The highlights of each sharing session will be uploaded to the EOC website and our YouTube Channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/HKEOC) for public viewing.
Equal Opportunities Commission
20 January 2012
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Ms Prudence MAK, Founder and Creative Director of Chocolate Rain, explained to the participants the meaning behind the name of her brand: “Inevitably, we all face some rainy days when things seem difficult. However, even rainy days can be made better by the sweet taste of chocolate, which will give us strength to go on.” She hopes, through her works, that teenagers will be inspired to dream bigger and develop a positive outlook on life.