Causes Week 2017: Duo launch platform to link alumni to schools

Yale-NUS students and Youth-In-Form founders Daniel Ng (left) and Cephas Tan hope to connect students with alumni who can advise them on higher education and career options.
Yale-NUS students and Youth-In-Form founders Daniel Ng (left) and Cephas Tan hope to connect students with alumni who can advise them on higher education and career options.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Two former neighbourhood school students are on a mission to link alumni with schools which don't have established or well-structured alumni associations.

Yale-NUS students Daniel Ng and Cephas Tan, both 24, have launched a platform that connects students with alumni who can advise them on higher education and career options.

The platform, called Youth-In-Form, helps schools organise talks and sharing sessions with alumni for free.

It also aims to collate a directory of speakers and schools' contact details, so both groups can reach out to each other more easily.

"In secondary school, my world was confined to my classroom, without much access to seniors," said Mr Ng, who went to Bukit Batok Secondary School.

"I was thinking... is this something other neighbourhood kids need as well?"

Many schools have already expressed interest.

Youth-In-Form, which was launched in September, has reached out to about 50 schools so far, and found more than 40 alumni members willing to run talks and sharing sessions for students.

To supplement the work that they do in schools, Youth-In-Form has also started a blog that features the profiles of "inspirational" young people ranging from a baker to a consultant.

 
 
 
 

There are 10 profiles on the blog so far, with 50 more in the pipeline over the next few weeks.

By putting the spotlight on different groups of people, they want to "redefine the conventional narrative of success", said Mr Tan, who went to Tanglin Secondary School.

At the moment, Youth-In-Form is helping Fuhua Secondary school establish its alumni community. It has also organised a talk, as well as question-and-answer sessions in smaller groups - by alumni at Bukit Batok Secondary School.

Secondary 4 student Basil Wee, 16, who attended the talk and sharing sessions, said of the speakers: " They were from our school, they have experience of different routes, and can really tell you what is going on.

"They have gone so far. It shows you don't have to be from top schools to go to places you want."

•For more information, visit www.facebook.com/ youthinform/or e-mail youthinform@gmail.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 10, 2017, with the headline 'Duo launch platform to link alumni to schools'. Print Edition | Subscribe