LSE undergraduate student Yi Jun Mock is set to receive the Queen’s Young Leaders Award in recognition of his work to change lives in his community.
The prestigious award celebrates exceptional young people aged 18 to 29 from across the Commonwealth and Yi Jun, aged 20, will receive the honour for his work in Singapore supporting young people to pursue their ambitions in vocational employment.
Yi Jun, who will be presented with the award by Her Majesty The Queen at a special ceremony in Buckingham Palace next year, co-founded online initiative Advisory - a platform providing young Singaporeans with the opportunity to learn about different career options through access to resources and interviews with professionals.
The Politics and International Relations student also served on the National Youth Council’s Young ChangeMakers (YCM) Grant Panel, assessing and mentoring youth teams applying for funding for community projects. While working for YCM, Yi Jun led a project increasing awareness of urban poverty in Singapore and, together with his team, raised $52,000 towards projects to help people living in disadvantaged areas.
Yi Jun acts as Project Leader (Networks) of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth, where he works to engage youth globally with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Yi Jun said: "I’m really grateful to have been selected to receive a Queen’s Young Leaders Award. It’s a huge honour to become part of such an inspiring group of young people working to make a difference in their communities, and I’m looking forward to learning more about how I can do better in the work that I do.”
As an award winner, Yi Jun will receive bespoke training, mentoring and networking opportunities, and take part in a residential programme in the UK in June 2018 to help build on the work he is doing in his community.
He will join a network of 240 award winners, a unique community of influential change makers who represent all 52 Commonwealth countries.
Q&A with Yi Jun
Why did you set up Advisory?
Contemporary education systems prepare students well for exams, but don’t always sufficiently equip them with the support they need to make informed decisions about their futures - wanting to help give young people equal access to adequate support is what motivated me to set up Advisory. A few friends and I worked together to flesh out the concept of Advisory, secure funding and support from Singapore's National Youth Council, and push it forward.
What community issues do you feel most passionately about and why?
Helping young people gain equal opportunity to succeed in life is a cause I am passionate about, because I believe everyone (no matter birthplace, socio-economic status, etc.) deserves a chance to fulfil their dreams and lead meaningful lives. Sustainable development is another issue I feel strongly for, as many of the issues facing the world today are transnational (like climate change and poverty), and these require global solutions.
What are your future plans in this area?
In Singapore, I hope to continue working on and expanding the scope of Advisory, and be involved in the youth space. Internationally, I hope to continue contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network - Youth, and see how else I can contribute in various fields.
Are you involved with any community work or volunteering at LSE?
I serve as Vice-President of the LSESU United Nations Society. One of the initiatives I led was to work with NGO The One Campaign to have UN and Grimshaw Society members participate in a walk-in to the Houses of Parliament, where we lobbied MPs from all parties on the issue of girls’ education globally. Previously, I undertook non-profit consulting with LSESU 180 Degrees Consulting.