Yale-NUS College x Skillseed

Collaboration Announcement

On November 26, 2016, the volunteer induction session at Skillseed Office marked a new start of education and empowerment.

12 students from Yale-NUS College joined the Skillseed team to embark on a new journey of social projects. This collaboration between Skillseed and Yale-NUS College aims to create social impact through four projects that range from facilitating educational trips for teenage students, supporting the journeys of youth with disabilities as they craft their own social projects, reintegrating marginalized groups to workspace, to educating youths on environmental justice.

Having benefited from the resourceful and supportive community that they live in, Yale-NUS students are excited about giving back by creating similar experiences for the young, the elderly, and the minority. Some have a deep passion for creating meaningful learning opportunities for the young while some show earnest empathy for groups of minority; others raise concern about the implications of apathy towards the damage to our forests and environmental resources on future generations of Singapore.

What makes Skillseed distinct for Yale-NUS students is that it provides a platform for mutual learning and contribution. Skillseed encourages student facilitators to utilize their facilitation skills, critical thinking and creative abilities to create memorable and transformative experiences for their beneficiaries. At the same time, student facilitators will also engage in intimate interaction with their beneficiaries and cultivate stronger curiosity and social responsibility in an open and supportive environment. The ultimate goal for Skillseed and Yale-NUS students converge on the common point to create sustainable and meaningful impact on the beneficiaries.

As a diverse group comprising various nationalities, cultural and educational backgrounds, these twelve student facilitators share a common mission to contribute to the communities they live in. Their jobscopes vary widely-- from conducting background surveys and research from scratch, analysing the diverse interests of stakeholders as well as balancing the objectivity and comprehensiveness of lesson materials. In meeting many new faces and challenges, Yale-NUS students are ready to take the lead to work with their beneficiaries and create change through their positivity and responsibility.

Press Statement written by Yang Xuerui.

 

VOLUNTEER VISION STATEMENT

-

To develop and hone

our volunteers' personal capacity to

actively give back to the social sector

as skilled volunteers.

-

 

VOLUNTEER PROFILES

Kei Franklin Kei is a fourth-year student in the inaugural Class of 2017 pursuing Environmental Studies and Anthropology. She originally comes from Taos, New Mexico (USA), but lived in Swaziland for three years before coming to Singapore. An issue Kei cares most about is the relationship between humans and their natural environment. She believes that education is crucial in shaping the values of a person, and the culture of a place. Through working with Skillseed, she looks forward to designing experiences and activities that will provoke students to think deeply about the complexities of privilege and service. She anticipates being challenged by how much she does not know.

Kei Franklin

Kei is a fourth-year student in the inaugural Class of 2017 pursuing Environmental Studies and Anthropology. She originally comes from Taos, New Mexico (USA), but lived in Swaziland for three years before coming to Singapore.

An issue Kei cares most about is the relationship between humans and their natural environment. She believes that education is crucial in shaping the values of a person, and the culture of a place. Through working with Skillseed, she looks forward to designing experiences and activities that will provoke students to think deeply about the complexities of privilege and service. She anticipates being challenged by how much she does not know.

Heeun Monica Kim Monica is from the Class of 2020 and her interests lean towards PPE or Global Affairs. She is interested in social issues involving the rigid education systems of both Singapore and South Korea, which she believe often fails to instill a sense of purpose in learning. Having struggled with this issue herself, she is excited to be part of an effort to merge learning with meaningful social work. As a Skillseed facilitator, she hopes to help nurture true passion for service in the community and challenge herself to lead initiatives to tackle other specific social issues that she feels personally invested in. As for where she calls ‘home’, it’s anywhere with kimchi and Netflix. They usually come along with family and friends.

Heeun Monica Kim

Monica is from the Class of 2020 and her interests lean towards PPE or Global Affairs. She is interested in social issues involving the rigid education systems of both Singapore and South Korea, which she believe often fails to instill a sense of purpose in learning. Having struggled with this issue herself, she is excited to be part of an effort to merge learning with meaningful social work.

As a Skillseed facilitator, she hopes to help nurture true passion for service in the community and challenge herself to lead initiatives to tackle other specific social issues that she feels personally invested in. As for where she calls ‘home’, it’s anywhere with kimchi and Netflix. They usually come along with family and friends.

Aleithia Low Aleithia is a senior majoring in Art and Humanities. As a staunch believer that changing the next generation is key to changing the world, she is looking forward to experimenting with the various ways by which learning and teaching can be facilitated in and out of the classroom. She also hopes to learn from Skillseed's organisational approach to sustainable social impact. Aleithia is most interested in environmental awareness and sustainability-- that being attuned to the natural environment fosters a sense of connectedness and empathy with the physical and the social world. Her desire is that learning is facilitated both for Skillseed's participants and herself, as she expects to be constantly surprised by interactions with communities as well as encounters by which impact can be created and purpose found.

Aleithia Low

Aleithia is a senior majoring in Art and Humanities. As a staunch believer that changing the next generation is key to changing the world, she is looking forward to experimenting with the various ways by which learning and teaching can be facilitated in and out of the classroom. She also hopes to learn from Skillseed's organisational approach to sustainable social impact.

Aleithia is most interested in environmental awareness and sustainability-- that being attuned to the natural environment fosters a sense of connectedness and empathy with the physical and the social world. Her desire is that learning is facilitated both for Skillseed's participants and herself, as she expects to be constantly surprised by interactions with communities as well as encounters by which impact can be created and purpose found.

Tinesh Indrarajah Tinesh is from the Class of 2017 and is currently pursuing a Concurrent Bachelors' Degree in History from Yale-NUS and a Masters in Public Policy from the LKYSPP. Home for him is both Taiping (Malaysia) and Singapore (where he has spent the last 8 years). Tinesh cares about equal opportunities for education with exposure to a multitude of worldviews and a breadth of information as compared to Malaysia’s poor educational capacity that was, and still is, tinged by racism and inefficiency. He respects the values that Skillseed stands for and believes that as a blossoming company, Skillseed is setting the bar on what ethical travel and business should be, which he hopes to learn about. He expects to be challenged by the varying demands of different stakeholders in his project about Environmental Justice in Indonesia.

Tinesh Indrarajah

Tinesh is from the Class of 2017 and is currently pursuing a Concurrent Bachelors' Degree in History from Yale-NUS and a Masters in Public Policy from the LKYSPP. Home for him is both Taiping (Malaysia) and Singapore (where he has spent the last 8 years).

Tinesh cares about equal opportunities for education with exposure to a multitude of worldviews and a breadth of information as compared to Malaysia’s poor educational capacity that was, and still is, tinged by racism and inefficiency. He respects the values that Skillseed stands for and believes that as a blossoming company, Skillseed is setting the bar on what ethical travel and business should be, which he hopes to learn about. He expects to be challenged by the varying demands of different stakeholders in his project about Environmental Justice in Indonesia.

Huiran Toh Hui Ran is an Environmental Studies major from Singapore who is in her senior year . She is very excited to be volunteering with Skillseed to create educational programmes around the haze and pulp and paper industry in Indonesia, an issue geographically close to home, but pretty foreign to the minds and hearts of many local young people. She is looking forward to learning how to work with students and to craft interesting, engaging yet informative modules. While Hui Ran's main game is the environment, she's particularly interested in the mainstreaming of environmental education - nature is so close to us, and we should understand it better than we currently do.

Huiran Toh

Hui Ran is an Environmental Studies major from Singapore who is in her senior year . She is very excited to be volunteering with Skillseed to create educational programmes around the haze and pulp and paper industry in Indonesia, an issue geographically close to home, but pretty foreign to the minds and hearts of many local young people. She is looking forward to learning how to work with students and to craft interesting, engaging yet informative modules. While Hui Ran's main game is the environment, she's particularly interested in the mainstreaming of environmental education - nature is so close to us, and we should understand it better than we currently do.

Yihao Xie Yihao is a graduating senior majoring in Environmental Studies. To him, Lanzhou (a Chinese city where he lived till 15) and Singapore are two places he calls home. Yihao cares about environmental health and justice issues, especially for marginalized communities. It is his belief that as a developed society, we ought to do better for those who are the least protected. He also looks forward to learning from others--be it students, community partners or Skillseed staff-- and has already been impressed and inspired by those he is working with. He is excited about this journey of being inspired by people and moments that will teach him about service and leadership.

Yihao Xie

Yihao is a graduating senior majoring in Environmental Studies. To him, Lanzhou (a Chinese city where he lived till 15) and Singapore are two places he calls home. Yihao cares about environmental health and justice issues, especially for marginalized communities. It is his belief that as a developed society, we ought to do better for those who are the least protected. He also looks forward to learning from others--be it students, community partners or Skillseed staff-- and has already been impressed and inspired by those he is working with. He is excited about this journey of being inspired by people and moments that will teach him about service and leadership.

Jiamin Heng Jia Min is from the Class of 2020. She is studying Law and Environmental Studies and comes from Singapore. Through working with Skillseed she hopes to make better decisions and keep calm in the process. She expects to be both challenged and surprised by how naughty students can get! But also how brilliant they can be as she does not think they are mutually exclusive. Jia Min cares about education and safe spaces for youths to try new things and possibly make mistakes, because... making guesses, mistakes and asking questions are what helps us grow and be excited about life!

Jiamin Heng

Jia Min is from the Class of 2020. She is studying Law and Environmental Studies and comes from Singapore. Through working with Skillseed she hopes to make better decisions and keep calm in the process. She expects to be both challenged and surprised by how naughty students can get! But also how brilliant they can be as she does not think they are mutually exclusive. Jia Min cares about education and safe spaces for youths to try new things and possibly make mistakes, because... making guesses, mistakes and asking questions are what helps us grow and be excited about life!

Dianne Araral Dianne Araral (class of 2020) is a potential Philosophy, Psychology or Anthropology major. She was born in the Philippines and raised in the States, but feels most at home in Singapore (specifically, in a hawker center with a bowl of laksa). She was drawn to Skillseed by its mission to 'counter the ills of voluntourism'- an admirably ambitious and meaningful task- and looks forward to the challenge of working with a diverse set of people while being able to best support and do justice to the subjectivities of each individual experience.

Dianne Araral

Dianne Araral (class of 2020) is a potential Philosophy, Psychology or Anthropology major. She was born in the Philippines and raised in the States, but feels most at home in Singapore (specifically, in a hawker center with a bowl of laksa). She was drawn to Skillseed by its mission to 'counter the ills of voluntourism'- an admirably ambitious and meaningful task- and looks forward to the challenge of working with a diverse set of people while being able to best support and do justice to the subjectivities of each individual experience.

Callysta Thony Callysta majors in Urban Studies and is from the Class of 2019. Born in Jakarta (Indonesia) she has lived in Hong Kong and now in Singapore. Callysta is passionate about education for youths in underprivileged communities and believes in raising a generation of critical thinkers who are able to form their own thoughts and be receptive to others - Skillseed is a part of this movement towards purposeful learning. She is also excited to have the opportunity to work with Skillseed and hopes to be able to learn how to craft meaningful learning experiences that truly challenge and transform students, as well as learn how to facilitate these processes of learning and growth.

Callysta Thony

Callysta majors in Urban Studies and is from the Class of 2019. Born in Jakarta (Indonesia) she has lived in Hong Kong and now in Singapore. Callysta is passionate about education for youths in underprivileged communities and believes in raising a generation of critical thinkers who are able to form their own thoughts and be receptive to others - Skillseed is a part of this movement towards purposeful learning. She is also excited to have the opportunity to work with Skillseed and hopes to be able to learn how to craft meaningful learning experiences that truly challenge and transform students, as well as learn how to facilitate these processes of learning and growth.

Jeanette Ann Oh Jeannette is from Calgary, Canada, and a freshman student at Yale-NUS. Having visited Singapore over the summers during her childhood to visit family, she has always considered Singapore her second home. Hence, she will do what she can to give back to her new community and is honoured to be a part of Skillseed for the opportunity to do so. Her past leadership experiences include working with the Canadian non-profit organizations, Free the Children and Me to We, as well as advocating for mental health awareness with the (I’m) possible Project in New Haven and the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

Jeanette Ann Oh

Jeannette is from Calgary, Canada, and a freshman student at Yale-NUS. Having visited Singapore over the summers during her childhood to visit family, she has always considered Singapore her second home. Hence, she will do what she can to give back to her new community and is honoured to be a part of Skillseed for the opportunity to do so. Her past leadership experiences include working with the Canadian non-profit organizations, Free the Children and Me to We, as well as advocating for mental health awareness with the (I’m) possible Project in New Haven and the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

Xuerui Yang Xuerui is currently a freshman at Yale-NUS. Having studied in Singapore for five years, she is becoming more interested in the community life of its people, especially the life of the senior citizens. Xuerui likes doing yoga on a cool bright morning, singing with friends after a long day of school, practicing ballroom dance with her partner, and eating a lot of green vegetables. Having joined Skillseed as a volunteer this semester, she looks forward to interacting with different community groups on a more intimate basis and exploring the different faces of this city-nation.

Xuerui Yang

Xuerui is currently a freshman at Yale-NUS. Having studied in Singapore for five years, she is becoming more interested in the community life of its people, especially the life of the senior citizens. Xuerui likes doing yoga on a cool bright morning, singing with friends after a long day of school, practicing ballroom dance with her partner, and eating a lot of green vegetables. Having joined Skillseed as a volunteer this semester, she looks forward to interacting with different community groups on a more intimate basis and exploring the different faces of this city-nation.

Chengpei Liu Originally from China, Chengpei spent the past five years in Singapore and is now studying at Yale-NUS. Committed to social services, he initiated the first voluntary project of his secondary school in China to help needy students. In Singapore, he further encouraged peers to be engaged in community service. Personally, he has initiated year-long projects with the People’s Association to help lonely elderly and for three years, he has worked on projects to raise awareness and recruit donors for the Bone Marrow Donor Program. Now at Skillseed, he hopes to further contribute to the community in a more refined and thoughtful way.

Chengpei Liu

Originally from China, Chengpei spent the past five years in Singapore and is now studying at Yale-NUS. Committed to social services, he initiated the first voluntary project of his secondary school in China to help needy students. In Singapore, he further encouraged peers to be engaged in community service. Personally, he has initiated year-long projects with the People’s Association to help lonely elderly and for three years, he has worked on projects to raise awareness and recruit donors for the Bone Marrow Donor Program. Now at Skillseed, he hopes to further contribute to the community in a more refined and thoughtful way.

 
 

Thank you NYC for supporting the set up of our volunteer management system.

Special thanks to Rector Brian McAdoo and Fellow Eugenia Chuah from Elm College, Yale-NUS for their support in so many ways and ensuring that this could all happen in the first place!