I chose student council as my service aspect for the Duke of Edinburgh award. I have been in student council since 9th grade, thus this was my second year. In grade 10, I served as a liaison between student council and the PTSA. This meant that I communicated to the PTSA of any event or support we needed from them as well as informing and communication to the PTSA of student council’s upcoming activities and progress. In the beginning of the school year, I led a new event “Summer Festival (Natsumatsuri)” and a fundraising concert “Live Aid” to support Combating Human Trafficking. I also continued to lead the stage crew for other concerts such as “Back to School” and “Studentainment”, both concerts giving the talented students in our school an opportunity to perform in front of their high school peers. When leading the two events, I had difficulty delegating work. The Summer Festival was the more difficult to delegate because most of the work had to be done over the summer break as the event was held only two weeks into school. I found myself doing a lot of the work that I could delegate because I felt that it was easier. Delegating work was hard for me because some people would not get things done on the time, produced bad quality work or simply did not do it. By the time I led Live Aid, I understood more that though it can take more time and patience to delegate the work, delegating is important in order for me to be a successful leader. Of course, there were times it was frustrating because communications were hard and the quality of work depended on the person. At the end, all events turned out a success. Overall, during this year in student council I learnt the importance of delegation when you are a leader.
I chose basketball for my physical recreation aspect for the Duke of Edinburgh program, since I was on the team. During the 6 months I practiced my basketball shots, I learnt that practicing for a long time is less important and that being constant with the practice results in improvement. Even though I knew this fact through other sports and activities from younger age, I hadn’t really worked to improve on a skill for a long time as I grew up and got busier. I also realised the greatness of YouTube. As I did not have a person to properly teach me the skills to shoot, I used YouTube as my main source for tips. Because of this experience YouTube tutorials will be a tool I will use more often to self-teach other skills. Overall, through the 6 months, not only did I develop my basketball shooting skills but I learnt how to self-teach to improve myself.
I chose to compose a message song for my skill aspect for the Duke of Edinburgh award program. This was also my personal project. During this process, I learnt the difficulty of creating a piece of art that has to have a specific message. It was not my first time to compose a song but it was my first composition that had a meaning/message to convey to the audience. This gave me a chance to reflect on how people think and how other musicians write music in order to tell a story, a message, an idea, etc. It was much more challenging compared to writing songs about a feeling or a personal experience. This process of the personal project also required me to be organized and keep track of my research. Overall, the process of coming up with lyrics that could convey a message while not being too straight forward was difficult but gave me a chance to reflect on how to create music in a specific way / with a specific aim and how the song can have a high impact on someone’s way of thinking.