Thinker with a Mission, Leader with a Heart series
Volunteering is a noble act that anyone can do and it opens our eyes to the different lifestyles others lead. It is about wanting to give back to the society that you have received a lot from. Not only can we gain an insight into the lives people lead, we can also put a smile on their faces, knowing that we may have made their day. That is a priceless sense of gratitude and satisfaction that we can receive from volunteering.
Lee Chao Rui from 2T24 is one of those who have found their call in volunteering. Chao Rui has been involved in the community since 2011, when he was only 10 years old. To date, he has facilitated closed door dialogues for groups, conducted house visits, and even initiated and organised a talk for 200 residents on eye care and hearing loss delivered by four senior renowned specialists. From a tender age, Chao Rui demonstrated a clarity of purpose quite unexpected from someone so young - to return the blessings the community had given him and to pay it forward.
Chao Rui truly embodies our school motto, ‘In Veritate Et Caritate’ - In truth and love. He is someone who is driven by the desire to serve and improve the world around them. Even under the heavy burden of his school work, he has never wavered in his commitment to give and continued his volunteer work even during his major school examinations. For example, during 2017-2019, he contributed to Changi General Hospital in several ways. He played the piano in the Changi General Hospital Atrium for its patients, staff and caregivers on a regular basis, providing music therapy to reduce stress and to help them relax. In addition to that, Chao Rui also worked with the hospital’s Regional Health & Continuity Care department to plan and facilitate health screening for temple devotees who would otherwise not go for regular health check-ups.
Not only does he do volunteer work in his free time, Chao Rui is also outstanding in his co-curricular activity. As the President of the College’s Interact Club, he was instrumental in the planning and successful implementation of the club’s Overseas Service Learning Project (OSLP) to Bintan, where he led his team to build a sewage and waste water treatment system in a village, immensely improving the living conditions of the villagers. The team also gave English lessons to the village’s school children. The project won the Best Interact Club Project in Singapore Region (Gold Award) from the Rotary Club of Singapore. Chao Rui’s compassion towards others and a strong sense of community spirit was also evident in his active participation in the planning and execution of his class' Service Learning Project - the Seniors Buddy Day Programme, in collaboration with Calvary Community Care. One of the Project’s aims was to promote greater social interactions and forge closer friendship and neighbourliness among the elderly from the Potong Pasir Constituency by engaging and supporting them in craft-making activities and games. They even planned for and coordinated a full-day outing at Singapore Zoological Gardens for the elderly.
Chao Rui’s care for the community went beyond the scope of his duties and responsibilities as the President of the Interact Club in CJ. This was strongly demonstrated by his active involvement outside school where he volunteered to lead a community project. As the Principal Investigator for the Singapore (SG) Bicentennial Project, Chao Rui had to research the values, beliefs and aspirations of the Teochews in the community by engaging residents staying in the Bedok Reservoir Estate. To generate further publicity about the Teochews among non-residents, Chao Rui also completed an e-book that showcased the exhibition videos and other artefacts accessed during the project. Chao Rui always believes in the value of service for others, and the project provided ample opportunities for personal growth and reflection on the possible ways he can contribute to the community in future.
It could not have been easy - balancing a social life, the stress of junior college, his scouting co-curricular activity and his mission to serve others, yet he pulls through time and again, doing all he can to ensure that he keeps a balanced keel on his studies and volunteering activities.
Volunteering has played a vital role in shaping Chao Rui to the person he is today. In fact, he has become a role model for other youths. CJC provides opportunities for their students to develop themselves into a “Thinker with a Mission, Leader with a Heart” and Lee Chao Rui is a living testament. The humility of volunteering moves one to be less selfish and more selfless. With a passion for helping others, we hope to see more CJCians reaching out to the community in order to ensure that no one gets left behind in our society.In veritate et caritate