Maskerade: Stories of Resilience

Charlotte Chui, Mei Chung, – HKIS – Class of 2016

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Over the course of our senior year, Mei and I interviewed members of the HKIS community, gathering stories of resilience in the face of adversity. We then held an exhibition of these chosen interviews to share stories of challenges and resilience, to raise awareness about those around us who are facing struggles in their lives, and to create a more supportive and open community at the school. Afterward, we continued to work with counselors to bring the interview footage to Freshman Seminar classes, and we also worked with Jeffrey He (another student in the Class of 2016) to coordinate HKIS’ first Mental Health Awareness Week. Mei and I had known we wanted to work together on a senior project for a while and we were both passionate about creating a safer, more compassionate community for those at HKIS. As a result, although there were some roadblocks along the way, we were able to work efficiently and in an organized manner to create a—hopefully—sustainable project with a lasting influence at the school. We received an overwhelmingly positive response after our exhibition and our final presentation, and we hope that this marks a turning point for those who come after us to continue with this cause.

Database entry for Maskerade
Maskerade’s Facebook page

Simply Art

Pooja Sadhwani, Saki Tsunoda, Nicole Lui – HKIS – Class of 2015
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Simply Art is a senior project working with HKDSA (Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association) HKDSA was established in 1986 to give support and services to people with Down Syndrome in Hong Kong. For our senior project, the three of us worked together to implement and start an Art Program at the Hong Kong Down Syndrome Center. Every Saturday, we held classes to a group of students ranging from 1 to 2 hours. By doing this, not only did we interact and have fun with them but we also hoped to improve their artistic skills in the long run and help them express and voice themselves through art. Through our constant lessons each Saturday, we were able to bring art into the lives of people at the center. When initially visiting their center in Wan Chai, we noticed that the center did not have any art classes. Being at HKIS, we have learned the importance of art and believe that it is a key element of the subject of Fine Arts as a whole. We feel that implementing this program in their center allowed them to realize the importance of art, and after completing the lessons, we have been speaking to the director of the center in order to find out if there could be a teacher at the center who could take over our position in running the classes.
Simply Art presentation
Simply Art’s Tumblr page
Database entry for Simply Art

Service Through Empowerment

Brittany Fried, Caroline Scown – HKIS – Class of 2015
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Caroline and I have been involved with the Empowerment Program at HKIS since its initial inception in 2011. We first got involved through the India: Teaching for Empowerment interim, which we were able to attend first as participants, and return on as leaders. Empowerment is instilling confidence in people, inciting them to make a change in their community with regards to social issues. It isnt simply delivering handouts that will benefit one or a few in the short term, but instead allows individuals to take initiative in improving their entire community in the long run. After being involved with the program for three years, for our senior project, Caroline and I decided to develop a self-sustainable, cross-cultural curriculum to be used in this program, and to expand the program itself. We developed a flexible 8-session curriculum with the help of Dr. Schmidt and a current Ph.D student, Katie Larson. We printed this curriculum into physical handbooks, then used these handbooks to run the empowerment curriculum on the India Empowerment, South Africa, and Boracay interim trips. Those who benefitted from the trip include around 100 Indian students from the lowest caste in India, 25 South African students, and around 40 Filipino students (just from 2015 alone). But the positive effects of this program did not simply stop there. Our HKIS students and teachers who delivered the program definitely benefited from this project, as they were empowered themselves, in addition to improving their teaching and facilitation abilities.
The Empowerment Handbook video
Database entry for Service Through Empowerment

Reduce, Save, Win

Matthea Najberg – HKIS – Class of 2018

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Through my Elixir Project, I began by doing research on specific tasks that people can do in their homes to reduce their household consumption. I compiled these tasks into a website to get people involved. I then contacted a man in charge of the organisation HK Recycles to get a prize for a competition. This competition consisted of people doing tasks, taking a picture to prove it and filling in a brief form. Whoever did the most tasks won the competition and got the prize.
Matthea’s website
Database entry for Reduce, Save, Win


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