The Formulae of Skilled-Volunteerism | Herman Ho, Swire Trust Go-Givers of 2022
Together with Time Auction, the Swire Trust Go-Givers Program encourages skilled volunteers for Swire Trust NGO partners from 2020 to 2022. 10 outstanding volunteers will be selected annually as the “Swire Trust Go-Givers of the Year” with special rewards & recognition. Meet our 10 Go-Givers of 2022!
The process of interviewing Herman Ho was full of surprises. To begin, few would expect the awardee of this prestigious recognition to be a teenager in high school. Then, as the questions delved into specific details and demanded deeper reflections, even fewer would expect to hear the incredibly mature thoughts shared by this evidently well-prepared young adult.
Herman may be young, but he is - just like his spreadsheets - extremely impressive.
Like most high school students, Herman found himself with quite a lot of spare time during the summer holidays. Naturally, he turned to his many interests, among them are IT and soccer. However, he didn't simply indulge in playing and watching games empty-headedly. Instead, he exercised his innovative muscles to merge his interests together: Herman created a spreadsheet that evaluates his friends’ accuracy in predicting future soccer match results.
Not only was this little project a fun one, but it also introduced Herman to the infinite wonders of spreadsheets. He was so attracted to the endless possibilities of numbers that he applied to be a database administrator through Time Auction’s volunteer matching platform.
As the database administrator for Books and Beyond Reading Club (BBRC), Herman was responsible for designing a real-time database management report platform for the Reading Marathon Program. From over 160 spreadsheets, data would be extracted, compiled, and analyzed so that the quiz scores of over ten thousand participants could be organized into a leaderboard.
Having been trusted to handle such large volumes of data, Herman went a step further to ensure that other and future workers of BBRC would also understand how to navigate his database management system. He produced a user guide to detail the system’s functions, mode of operation, and procedures to access information.
Herman’s hard work undoubtedly created valuable opportunities for the NGO’s service users, who are mostly children with lesser means, hoping to learn English as a second language. The young learners are incentivized to actively engage in learning materials by gamified comprehension quizzes, which rely heavily on Herman’s database management system.
On the other hand, Herman’s own work also resulted in new opportunities for himself. As he truly enjoyed working with the friendly community at Books and Beyond Reading Club, Herman said that he signed up for another volunteer opportunity “with no hesitation”. This time, it was to be a team leader for their interactive storytelling classes.
In this new position, he was not only teaching students English through playing games and telling stories, but he was also responsible for guiding the Goldman Sachs (GS) Volunteer Team on utilizing class materials and implementing lesson plans to improve the students’ public speaking skills. Herman’s effort made the corporate volunteers’ experience “effective, pleasant and enjoyable,” according to the GS Volunteer Team Head.
As for Herman himself, he would also rate his volunteer experiences highly. In his time as the database administrator, it was perhaps a training of persistence. “It was quite frustrating at times, seeing all those error messages that pop up back and forth,” Herman admitted, “but, at the end, I found it really satisfying to see the database I created being put to use.” Reciprocally, BBRC also found their volunteer to be praiseworthy.
“Herman’s willingness to take the extra mile in whatever he was assigned to do is also a great asset to our organization. He is a hardworking problem solver who brings ideas and solutions to the table and does not wait to be told to do things.”— Barbara Kwok, the Founder of BBRC
So what encouraged him to volunteer so proactively? To begin, he attested that volunteering is “one of the best ways to give back to the community and also gain new experiences for yourself. So I really valued this opportunity to use my personal skills to help others… [and] I also wanted to challenge myself and see what I was capable of accomplishing.”
Moreover, Herman also appreciated the additional rewards given by Time Auction. For example, using his volunteer hours, Herman said he could redeem special experiences that “wouldn’t be something I do in my day-to-day life.” Also, he felt “really honored” to be one of the Swire Trust Go-Givers of the Year and humbly thanked the NGO for offering such a memorable volunteering experience.
This volunteer may be young, but his achievements are truly impactful. So, like Herman urged, “no matter what your abilities are, as long as you have the heart to serve, that would make a difference for many people in various ways.”
Thank you so much to Herman for contributing 70 volunteer hours & beyond at the Books and Beyond Reading Club!
To see details of the Swire Trust Go-Givers Program and support their NGO partners, head over to Time Auction website.
Written by Margaret Ng, Volunteer Copywriter