Kit Chan : first Youth Ambassador
by Nureza Ahmad
Kit Chan, (b. 15 September 1972, Singapore -), local performing artist, poet and entrepreneur, was appointed as Singapore's first Youth Ambassador by the National Youth Council (NYC) on 26 December 1998. She received her appointment from David Lim, then Minister of State for Defence and NYC's Chairman, at the launch of the revamped Youth Park at Somerset Road. As a youth ambassador, Chan's responsibilities included promoting moral values, a healthy lifestyle and a spirit of volunteerism among the young in Singapore. She would also grace NYC events, including campaigns and concerts.
In 1998, the National Youth Council (NYC), Singapore's national co-ordinating body for youth affairs, launched its Youth Ambassador Scheme, appointing Kit Chan (b. 15 September 1972, Singapore -) as its very first Youth Ambassador. Well-known local talents with significant achievements are identified by NYC as inspiring role models for youths. Kit Chan was selected as the Youth Ambassador in recognition of her position as a celebrity who could positively influence youths. She was identified as an example of a successful young Singaporean with a healthy and wholesome image for youths to emulate.
As Singapore's Youth Ambassador, Chan had expressed her desire to use her celebrity status to lead by example. She is a multi-talented performing artist with admirable credentials and a positive attitude to life. An alumnus of Raffles Girls' School, Raffles Junior College and Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts, she has an impressive pop career in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. She is one of Singapore's best-known singing exports in the Mandarin-Cantonese pop scene. She has starred in two Hong Kong musicals to date, Snow Wolf and Lake & The Legend. She has penned and sung national songs to commemorate National Day Celebrations in Singapore, for instance, singing the song Home in the Sing Singapore '98 campaign. In 1999, Chan became the first Singaporean and first Asian woman to be signed by Shure, an American-maker of microphones used in live concerts and recording studios. A published poet, Chan has written two anthologies of poetry, Cork Out of My Head and I Write A Page. In addition, she is the co-owner of two boutiques, Flowers in the Attic at The Heeren and Roses in The Loft at Plaza Singapura.
Chan's love for music and performing led her to choose a career as a singer over more established professions like banker or lawyer. Instead of pursuing a university degree after graduating from Raffles Junior College, Chan decided to take the unconventional path, incurring the wrath of her parents. But staying true to her dreams was important - she wanted to do something that she liked and that would make her happy, even if it was different. She is a strong advocate of one of NYC's core attributes for youths, 'Dare to Dream', as believing in her dreams and overcoming the odds were factors that led her to be the highly-acclaimed singer she is today.
As Youth Ambassador, Chan has been involved in several NYC projects. She has graced public youth events organised by the NYC, made guest appearances at charity concerts and was the face and voice of campaigns that target youths. She hopes to instil a sense of social responsibility in young people. "If you actually go out and help people who are even more unfortunate or disadvantaged than you are, then you'll be very aware of your own blessings", said Chan. She believes that youths of today need to stop focusing on their angst in order to be happier and create happiness for other people.
In recognition for her accomplishments and community work, Chan has received several awards, including the Singapore Youth Award in 2001.
Jun 1999 : Chan endorsed the Youth Day Appeal, a fund-raising event jointly organised by Community Chest and the Ministry of Education. Donation envelopes were distributed to all students in secondary schools, junior colleges, centralised and technical Institutes, with collections going to the Community Chest.
Dec 1999 : 'Dare to Dream' Youth Symposium. Youths discussed their dreams at the first National Youth Culture Symposium organised by The Cultural Society of Singapore. Chan was among those speaking on issues such as the environment and youth cultural renaissance.
May 2000 : As Youth Ambassador of the NYC, Chan volunteered to go on a hunger fast for 30 hours, to raise awareness of world hunger, as part of World Vision's 30 Hour Famine. World Vision is a non-profit Christian relief body.
Aug 2000 : Humanitarian work in Ethiopia. Chan toured with World Vision to help people in the drought-stricken country. She visited two main relief sites, Damoya and Tiya; sponsored an Ethiopian boy, 13-year-old Garbo Shanko, to promote World Vision's Child Sponsorship Programme; took part in the filming of the NYC-sponsored documentary recording of the week-long enterprise; wrote a song to commemorate the tour and raise public awareness of the Ethiopians' plight.
Mar 2000 : The first Young Woman Achiever Award , by Her World magazine.
Jun 2001 : Singapore Youth Award for Art and Culture, National Youth Council.
Nov 2002 : Asia Awards for Excellence in Youth Work, by the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Asia Centre. Chan was the only Singaporean among the seven to receive it.
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Siti Andrianie (1998, December 27). Kit Chan is first youth ambassador. The Straits Times.
Sng, S. (2000, May 15). If going hungry helps, I'll do it. The Straits Times.
Sng, S. (1999, July 22). Im Shure youll hear me better now. The Straits Times.
Tan, H. L. (1999, June 29). Put some song into other peoples lives. The Straits Times.
Tan, S. S. (1998, August 7). Country comfort- this lion sleeps well. The Straits Times.
Wu, R. (2000, March 4). Brave new whirl for Kit Chan. The Straits Times.
Becoming more like Mum - and proud of it. (2000, March 3). The Straits Times.
Three women of substance. (2000, March 3). The Straits Times.
Newsfront - Hop on this bus for food adventure. (1999, November 27). The Straits Times.
Chiam, C. (2002, December 1). Taking time to smell the Roses. The Straits Times.
Chan, K. (2001, February 27). Youth today must show spirit and dare to dream. The Straits Times.
Gwee, E. (2000, October 12). Haven for hip shopaholics. The Straits Times.
Khin, N. (2000, July 31). Singer Kit Chan turns poet. The Straits Times.
Kwek, K. (2000, August 23). Kit Chans mercy mission. The Straits Times.
Wee, T. (2001, May 31). I like pressure. It drives me. The Straits Times.
Sri Lankan inventor bags Asia youth award. (2002, November 22). The Straits Times.
Little-known group wins top youth award. (2001, June 29). The Straits Times.
bits of kit chan. (2002). Kit Chan. Retrieved May 17, 2004, from www.kitchan.com
National Youth Council. (2002). Awards scheme. Retrieved May 17, 2004, from www.nyc.gov.sg/user/award_schemes.htm
The information in this article is valid as at 2004 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
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