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$250k fund launched for young Singaporeans to start social initiatives

Young people in Singapore who wish to champion causes such as mental health, suicide prevention or environmental sustainability can now tap a $250,000 grant to fund their initiatives.

The grant, which will give each approved project between $1,000 and $3,000, was announced at the annual Global Youth Leaders' Summit on Saturday (July 17).

It is funded by outdoor education company Innotrek and can be applied for through local charity FutuReady Asia's Character and Leadership Academy.

The summit was held both virtually and physically at Serangoon Garden Secondary School and was attended by more than 1,000 young people and 77 participating schools.

Following the announcement of the grant, Innotrek chief executive Tony Tan Tuan Tiong told The Straits Times: "This year, we got some of our business back, so we thought it would be nice to find a good cause… and channel (funds) back to the youth and their projects."

Mr Tan anticipates that many applicants will look at initiatives related to mental health and suicide prevention, as his staff have picked up on this trend among young people.

For more information and to apply for the grant, those interested can visit this link.

The event was attended by Minister of State for Education and Manpower Gan Siow Huang, who shared her own experience of signing on to the military when she was younger because she wanted a meaningful career.

She said: "As young leaders, the community needs your energy and passion to come together, lead ground-up efforts and spark conversations on what truly matters to us. In fact, the biggest actions all started out small, on an individual level.

"Be it being grateful for what you have, caring for the environment, your community, inclusivity or living out your aspirations - you all have the capacity to make a positive difference."

Ms Lai Kye Sheen, 19, who will start her undergraduate course in Business and Psychology at National University of Singapore this year, was one of 20 participants who attended the summit in person.

She told ST that she intends to apply for the grant after getting a team together to work on an initiative that spreads awareness about mental well-being among young people.

"Being able to manage our emotions or understand certain passions that we have and how we can lead our most meaningful lives is something that we should focus on. It's not really touched on enough in Singapore," she said.

"It's important for young people to prioritise mental well-being and understand how failures are a natural part of success."

To read the full article on The Straits Times, click here.


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