“Reach out to the YOUTHs coz it’s ‘EM that we want.”
That’s the rallying cry behind the series of Youth’Em events in Darren Tan’s zone. Modeled after the Emerge Conference, the series comprised four exciting youth outreach events from August to October 2008.
There were many innovative competitions aimed at discovering the talents of the young people, such as “Best Dressed Geek” and a rap competition, as well as special performances and encouraging testimonies.
A common thread was the use of netizen lingo and popular culture in all four events. “Live Out Loud (LOL)” kick-started the inaugural outreach, followed by “Piece of Peace (POP)”. “POP” purposed to provide peace to the anxious minds of students preparing for their examinations. This was followed by “Outback”, the only outdoor event held at Sentosa. The series ended with an aptly themed finale: “Freedom of Choice — Choose Life”.
This was based on the belief that one’s life is determined by the choices he or she makes. ”Making the right choices propels each of us to the next level of breakthrough,” said 22-year-old Kelvin Chua, a customer service officer serving in the publicity committee of Youth’Em.
The publicity tools used were reflective of the generation of tech-savvy youths today, which included Facebook and web blogs. Each of the seven cell groups involved had its own blog where members were free to pen down their thoughts and revelations. The blogs became a highly effective publicity tool for Youth’Em. Announcements of the Youth’Em events were posted on all the blogs, sparking the curiosity of friends who read them at the invitation of the members. It soon became one of the main talking points in classrooms and lecture theaters.
|PHOTOS: Chen Yaqi|
The use of FaceBook also helped to create a strong awareness of the Youth’Em events, with its ability to send out invitations to the masses at a click. More importantly, it was able to register the responses instantly, enabling the members to follow up with their friends who expressed interest in participating in Youth’Em. With such simple and yet effective tools of outreach, the series impacted a total of 356 individuals, out of which 105 were new friends.
Indeed, one cannot underestimate the lethal combination of technology and pop culture in youth outreaches. The success of Youth’Em exemplifies this innovative, creative and effective way of reaching out.