#HKULeadForLife

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Service Project

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What is the Lead for Life service project?

The Lead for Life service project is one of the compulsory components of the character leadership certificate programme. It can be performed individually or as a team, any time between years 2 to 4 of your studies. This experiential learning component will offer opportunities for you to practice what you have been learning about character leadership to directly impact the community with your service. Through participation in the community service project and reflection on your experience, you will be able to increase in self-awareness to identify and cultivate your character leadership strengths and style, and develop your sense of purpose to bring about positive social change to build a flourishing community. Community is integral to Lead for Life’s character leadership journey as community is both the means that affects formation of character and the end goal that allows expression of leadership influence.

What constitutes a good Lead for Life service project?

The Lead for Life service project should identify and address a meaningful social issue with the objective of creating positive social change, whether locally or abroad. It should have an emphasis on application of character leadership beyond mere acquisition of academic knowledge and skills. The time commitment is about 20 hours of direct community services. These are hours that you will be spending on the frontline in direct interaction with and service to the community; and do not include time for other indirect tasks, such as the pre-service training workshop, proposal writing and application, office or lab-based work during internship /attachment /placement, portfolio submission, and presentation. 

What are the service project pathways?

There are five different pathways to complete the Lead for Life service project. The application deadline for doing your service project in Semester 1 of AY2022/23 is by 9 October 2022.

Lead for Life service project diagram

Option 1: Faculty Service Placement

If one of your academic courses requires you to undertake a service project/ placement, either in HK or outside HK, you can choose to make use of this opportunity to concurrently fulfil your Lead for Life service project. You will not be required to undertake any extra tasks or duties during your faculty service placement. The top-up requirement is submission of a Lead for Life reflection journal on the application of character leadership in your faculty service placement.

You are advised to inform your faculty and placement supervisor of your concurrent programme fulfilment after you have obtained endorsement from the Lead for Life team.

  • Ensure your faculty’s service placement meets the requirements of what constitutes a good Lead for Life service project​.
  • Submit an on-line application on the Lead for Life website by the specified deadline.
  • The Lead for Life team will inform you of your application result via email.
  • Inform your faculty and placement/ internship supervisor of your concurrent programme fulfilment.

Option 2: Lead for Life Service Placement

If you are not required to undertake any community service project by your academic courses and you do not have prior experiences in organising any service project, you can apply for one of our pre-arranged service placements.

In the coming semester, programme participants can apply to serve in one of the service placements offered by our community partners, namely, The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, Christian Concern for the Homeless Association, Hong Kong Catholic Commission for Labour Affairs, Mission for Migrant Workers, HK Federation of Women’s Centre, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). To find out more, please download the latest service placement options file.

If you opt for this pathway, you don’t have to line up any service opportunity by yourself. You can sign up for one of the pre-arranged service placements made by the Lead for Life team. We have already identified qualified community service opportunities with one of our community partners. You will complete the services under the guidance and support of our community partners (mostly NGOs). The community partner will provide an additional briefing on the concerned social issue before you commence your service placement.

  • Details (including the community partner, service period etc) will be posted on the website in September (1st semester) / December (2nd semester).
  • You may sign up on our website by the specified deadline. Since only limited places are available, please sign up early.
  • The Lead for Life team will inform you of your confirmed service placement after the application deadline via email.

Option 3: Self-initiated Community Programme

If you have extensive experiences in organising or leading community services and you have lined up an NGO partner who is ready to support your project, you are encouraged to start your own service project to apply and explore your character leadership knowledge and skills.

No, they don’t have to be HKU students, but you have to provide evidence (e.g., reference letter from the community partner or project advisor) to demonstrate your leadership role in the concerned service project.

You can submit a copy of your updated and detailed project proposal to the Lead for Life team for further consideration. In general, your service project has to meet the requirements of what constitutes a good Lead for Life service project, your project is supported by an NGO or a community partner, and the service project is not yet completed.

  • Ensure your service project meets the requirement of what constitutes a good Lead for Life community service project.
  • Prepare your project proposal (online application form).
  • Submit an online application by the specified deadline.
  • We will inform you of your application result via email.

Option 4: Volunteer Community Programme

If you have signed up for a volunteer community programme during your year 2 to year 4 studies and the programme meets the Lead for Life service project criteria: (a) requires about 20-hour direct community services, (b) includes pre-service training, (c) offers guidance and feedback to volunteers; your concerned service experience may qualify for the Lead for Life service project.

If you have received a confirmed offer of admission to a qualified volunteer community programme in the coming semester, you will be eligible. Please note that retrospective application is not accepted.

  • Ensure you have received documentary proof on your admission to the concerned volunteer community programme.
  • Submit an online application by the specified deadline. You will be required to upload your proof of admission.
  • The Lead for Life team will inform you of your application result via email.

Option 5: Designated Programme

You will be eligible for this pathway if you have received a confirmed offer of admission to the designated programme ‘The Way to Success Level 2′. The pre-requisite is successful completion of ‘The Way To Success Level 1’ programme. ‘The Way To Success’ programmes are run at HKU by our community partner CEO Global.

  • Ensure you have received documentary proof on your admission to the ‘The Way To Success Level 2’.
  • Submit an online application by the specified deadline. You will be required to upload your proof of admission.
  • We will inform you of your application result via email.

When do I need to confirm my pathway selection?

If you plan to undertake the service project in the first semester (normative period is from September to December), you need to tell us your plan by early-October of the academic year by completing the online form. The Lead for Life team will consider your plan before an official endorsement is pronounced by mid-October.

If you plan to undertake your service project in the second semester (normative period is from January to May), you need to tell us your plan by mid-January of the academic year by completing the online form. The Lead for Life team will consider your plan before an official endorsement is pronounced by late January.

If you plan to undertake your service project in the summer break (from June to August), you need to tell us your plan by mid- May of the same academic year by completing the online form. The Lead for Life team will consider your plan before an official endorsement is pronounced by late May.

There will be a briefing session at the beginning of every semester. 

How will I be assessed?

Though no formal grading will be given, we are keen to gauge your personal growth. In addition to a feedback questionnaire, you will be submitting a 500-word reflection journal upon completion of your service project. In the journal, please share with us 2 to 3 incidents that demonstrate how you have learnt or applied one or a few character leadership strength(s) during the service project. You are expected to identify and describe the challenges you encountered, how you overcame or are overcoming them, and what you have discovered about yourself through the experience.

You will be invited to share your service project experience with your peers and mentors in your mentor group, preferably in the semester following the completion of your service project.

Ready to build flourishing communities?

Please drop us a message and we will be happy to advise you further on how you can embark on your Lead for Life service project.