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Proposal Form for InspireAsia by Joon Lee InspireAsia is a service initiative based in Singapore, to be lead jointly with high school students in Singapore and a larger service organization. It aims to present education as a viable option to underprivileged kids who currently believe that education is unpractical and should instead work throughout their childhood. The idea behind InspireAsia stemmed from my experience with Outreach Vietnam, a service club based in Special Olympics Singapore with the main mission of supporting Anh Linh Free School in Ho Chi Minh City. Outreach Vietnam (OV), organizes a service trip in which approximately 30 Special Olympics volunteers travel to Anh Linh to form a connection with the kids, teach them English classes and provide them with various necessities. Over the years, Outreach Vietnam has become a successful club, benefitting both students from Special Olympics and Anh Linh. However, as a veteran member active since the club's founding, I had several complaints about Outreach Vietnam's failure to effectively spend the resources it was provided. I noticed that a majority of the students at Anh Linh viewed education as a "side job", having secondary importance to making handmade jewelry and learning how to make street food, which they viewed as a practical means of making a living. Therefore, they were not motivated in school and they never learned how to "dream big". Therefore, it was natural that they forgot what we taught them in a few days, and the OV members were ultimately spending $800 per person in Ho Chi Minh to merely act like substitute teachers and play with the kids for 5 days. I viewed this as a major problem: pragmatically speaking, education is somewhat close to futile when applied to vocations like street vending. Therefore, I want to inspire kids to consider education as a primary course that they can take to prepare themselves the bigger world that is not necessarily closed to them because of their humble foundations. Therefore, InspireAsia targets teenagers between the ages of 10-15 who already possess basic literacy skills and have the potential of becoming leaders and invites them to Singapore. Through a course of 5-10 days, they will encounter new inspirations and experiences every day, learning how they can pursue higher education and achieve their dreams. Furthermore, they will be trained in leadership and presentation to enable them to return to their respective hometowns and replicate what we have done for them: inspire.

Proposal Form