• SimplyShare — Co-Founder & Executive Director (2020-present)
  • CODE2APP Challenge — 1st Runner Up (2021)
  • Superposition Hong Kong — Chapter Lead & Executive Director (2021-present)
  • St. Paul’s Co-educational College Student Union Equinox — External Affairs Director (2021-2022)
  • SDSN Global Schools Student Symposium — Youth Rep of HK (2022)

“Vera, no one is going to notice the 5-pixels-shift to the left.”

They most definitely didn’t. Still, it bothers me. Digital creations have always been my outlet for uncomplicated expression. As a 6th grader, I created my first slideshow video on iMovie. Six years later, the same childhood video-creator-fantasy still kindled. Counting down the days remaining in senior year, my “digital scrapbook” on Instagram @verascountdown documents snippets of my school life every day. This simple whim to immortalize random school moments in videos resonated with over 3K viewers, a community I’d never imagined building through a glimpse of my creative outlet. Despite being an amateur video creator, this self-taught journey allowed me to carry the same inspired mentality into aspects of my life as a volunteer, a programmer, and everything in between.

I love seeing people inspired. From hosting school-scale rallies with the Student Union to bringing care packages to caged homes, witnessing people’s joy amid their other troubles reminds me that “small actions make big differences.” Seeing firsthand the problem of wealth disparity locally and internationally amid the pandemic, I wanted to make a dent in our society, even as a youth. And though peers around me were also receptive to serving their community, finding suitable options wasn’t easy. Thus, the youth-led platform SimplyShare, connecting youth to long-term, skill-based volunteering opportunities for impoverished children, was created with the mindset that “actions speak louder than words.”

As we wrapped up our four-week-long basketball boot camp at Sham Shui Po, an eight-year-old said she hoped to become a magician one day, and with her “magic,” she would create money to buy new clothes. I will never forget this conversation. I uncovered how these children understood the unreachable economic security at such a young age; to them, they can only hold onto magic to have control over their destiny. Stories like these continue as the motivation behind SimplyShare, motivating us to use our “magic” to create communities that continue to inspire more people.

However, the fifth wave of COVID-19 deprived me of proximity to the community. The remoteness motivated my creation of Bundled App, a one-stop resource donation platform and courier medium, connecting donors to grass-root families to fill the digital divide at users’ doorsteps. One day, the eight-year-old will get her hands on new clothes, not from a wave of magic but from a click of compassion.

Being “outstanding” to me doesn’t solely equate to accolades or academic validations; instead, it’s to be an inspiration: to let the eagerness to take the initiative to turn a passion into purpose and make stories heard. And from there, create a ripple effect that inspires even more people around you to do the same, building a community of passionate young leaders. So let us give back to our society by bridging communities, one after another.