☑️ Bored during class?

☑️ Unsure of your future job options?

☑️ Disconnected from the real world?


Hi, I’m Yui, a high school student at an international school in Hong Kong.
I’ve always been a motivated student at school, putting forth my best efforts to ace my tests and take comprehensive notes during class. But at one point, I questioned – how does this all connect to my future?

I had a vague understanding of how the material covered in my math or humanities class would make me “college and career ready”; but what skills are truly valued in the workplace? What even are my job options? I felt distant and protected from the real world, in a privileged bubble of naivety and safety nets. High school merely feels like a roadmap towards college – but what for? What happens after college, and how can I best prepare for my uncertain future?

I’m sure we’ve all felt this nagging discontent with our education system, but we see no clear solution as to how we can make it better.


My journey with OWN Academy began with Real World Learning Week, a one-week program that brings the industry experience into the classroom. I worked with On Air Collective, a marketing company, to develop a solution to a business problem. This was the first time I had ever done anything like this – working with professional mentors to solve a real business problem for an actual company.
My journey with OWN Academy continued into my freshman summer where I was selected for an internship with ThinkCol, a data science consulting firm in Hong Kong. This was my first work experience ever – a truly eye opening three weeks where I worked to create presentation slides and draft a website for AXA, a global health insurance company. Being in a professional work environment made me realize how naive I was. As cliche as it sounds, there is so much to the world – so many inspiring entrepreneurs and job positions I didn’t even know existed. 
This was where I got the chance to meet Natalie personally, as an intern at OWN Academy. I have never met anyone as genuine, passionate, and hardworking as her – and it was at this stage that I felt hope about where the future of education could be heading. I’ve always been told that “You can make a difference in the world!” but as a pessimistic realist this was merely a cliche saying without a specific “how” or “why”. But through watching Natalie’s ambitious ideas come to life, I’ve first-hand experienced how anyone can become a change-maker. 


OWN Academy bridged the gap between school and the real world for me. I was inspired by the passionate entrepreneurs and mentors I worked with, and started to see a clearer picture of who I wanted to become in the future. My learning at school becomes more purposeful when I’m working towards a bigger goal. I truly believe that the future of high school education should be more directly linked with experiential, real world learning. 


Our education system needs to change. But change can only happen bottom up, which means YOU’RE the most important part of creating this change. If any part of my story and OWN Academy’s philosophy resonated with you, let us know – send us an email, give us a call, we want to hear from you. We know you’re in there: passionate, ambitious individuals that have great potential bubbling inside of them – potential to instigate real change, make an impact, and have your voice heard.