Mark Chen
Student, SIM
Home Nursing Foundation

Who are you? Tell us a bit more about yourself!

Hi there! My name is Mark and I am currently an undergraduate pursuing Economics and Management in SIM-UOL.

I love playing sports although ironically my fitness is really terrible. In my free time, I love hanging out with my friends. I am a little reserved when it comes to meeting new people but I hope to change that.

What’s your story? Tell us about a life-changing incident.

I had a pretty bad year back in 2011-2012. I lost some directions as to where my life should really proceed. I was trying to find some answers to what I really wanted to do. It was sort of like a quarter-life crisis kind of thing. I reckon it’s quite a common thing among people at my age but I wanted even more.

So a random coffee night with my friend at coffee bean last year brought about a whole new level of meaning to my life. That night, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and went ahead with her proposed idea of a Christmas camp for an English school for underprivileged children in Siem Reap, Cambodia. That experience of helping and giving was beyond describable that I ended up going back mid of this year (under an internship programme with Jia Foundation) for about 3 months. It’s been something I have been committed to doing since then.

Why 50for50 and why now?

It’s really an awesome movement in my opinion. I’ve heard of match-funding schemes out there but never on this huge scale of every dollar raised, it will be quadrupled. It’s really exciting to see that many charities are going to benefit from the potential massive amount raised and continue the good work they do.
Why now? Well, to me change should always be spontaneous and never a timed event. There’s a great opportunity and platform for me to ride on, why not make my effort grow exponentially?

What gets you up in the morning?

Like quite a lot of people out there, getting up in the mornings can be a challenge. My dog Rufus is kind of my alarm clock. What I also need is a nice piping hot coffee to kickstart my day.

Why this cause out of so many causes?

The world continues to spin and we get busier and busier each day as we prosper and progress. I have chosen an elderly related charity because I believe that we gotten to where we are today because of the hard work and contributions by the pioneer generation. As they are into their retirement years, I wish to give back and if possible provide a better and more comfortable environment to them especially to the underprivileged elderly.

Any experiences with charity or non-profit work before?

You wouldn’t count the mandatory CIP flag day back in secondary school would you? I don’t really have a lot of experience with charity or non-profit but I am currently working with a 2 at the moment. And it has been an amazing experience!

What kind of change are you looking to bring about as a changemaker?

I’m probably not the best person to say what are the immediate and urgent needs of the charity to be addressed. But to me, I hope to bring awareness and influence to people out there. It’s a little ambitious to say but I hope this movement will bring about some systemic changes.

What is your big idea on how to raise funds for 50for50?

The best idea would be an event where we can bring our elderly friends, families and donors together. It’s maximum financial and social impact. I’m still in the brainstorming phase but do keep a lookout for my event!