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500 underprivileged youngsters aim high at graduation of Cathay Pacific ‘I Can Fly’ Programme 2014

03 Aug 2014

Five-hundred young people gathered to celebrate their graduation from the Cathay Pacific “I Can Fly” Programme 2014 at Kowloon Park on 2 August. The event was the finale of a three-month programme that included aviation training, social service projects, flying lessons in Australia and a delivery flight from France.

Joining the graduates at the celebration were officiating guests Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam and Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu. Chairman of Bless Hong Kong Campaign Working Group, Commission on Poverty, Leonie Ki was also in attendance, along with representatives from supporting organisations, Cathay Pacific volunteers, members’ nominators and parents.

Since 2003, “I Can Fly” has helped 3,700 Hong Kong youths gain a deeper understanding of the aviation industry and their role in society. This year’s “I Can Fly” Programme supported the Commission on Poverty’s “Bless Hong Kong” campaign, with schools and non-governmental organisations nominating underprivileged people aged 15 to 21 to take part.

Mrs Lam, who is also the Chairperson of the Commission on Poverty, said: “For years, Cathay Pacific has been committed to nurturing the younger generation of Hong Kong. In support of the “Bless Hong Kong” campaign launched by the Commission on Poverty, the programme this year has been organised exclusively for 500 young people from less-advantaged families. With an innovative and diverse programme arrangement, the programme broadens the horizon of the young people and instills in them a sense of mission. They are encouraged to build on their strengths, pursue their goals and serve the community.”

With the programme aims to encourage young people to reach for their dreams, Mr Chu stated: “‘I Can Fly’ offers an effective platform for proactive young people to enhance their aviation knowledge and contribute to society. We are pleased to see many past graduates joining the aviation industry and trust this programme will inspire members on their future direction and life goals. Thanks to supporting organisations and staff volunteers – your contributions have made this year’s programme another success.”

Student member Shirley Choi says the educational trip to France gave her a great sense of accomplishment: “Not only did we get to visit the Airbus factory and join a delivery flight, we also befriended individuals who share the same passion and goals. We were moved by the frank and sincere sharing during our delivery trip and will always cherish the memory of this programme in pursuing our dreams together.”

Social worker Teresa Lau, the nominator of student Joker Law, recounts the member’s personal development: “Joker refined his communication and leadership skills as the leader of his group’s social service activity, which strengthened his confidence when he teaches at our centre. Inspired by his Australian trip, he proactively discussed his education and life plans with me immediately on his return.”

Learn more about “I Can Fly” at http://icanfly.cathaypacific.com.