am730 Interview: Clara Lu and her organization "Read For All"
Updated: Oct 30, 2020
Clara Lu and her organization "Read For All"
October 13th 2020
Author: Jeff Wong
During a recent work meeting with renowned violinist Jue Yao, I was introduced to her youngest daughter, Clara Lu, and was deeply impressed by this 17-year-old who has had the drive to serve our society at such young age. While Clara appeared to be gentle, when she began sharing her passion for helping others, she expressed her thoughts in a clear and concise way and filled with enthusiasm. While Clara might have inherited her creative genes from her musical mother, Jue Yao, her own presence regardless still exudes an artistic flare.
Coming from a musical family with busy parents, Clara learned to be independent at a young age and developed a love for reading. Clara loves soaking up the knowledge within each book and believes that books hold great value not only in providing new insight but also allowing readers to travel into the world of unknown. She told me that her mother taught her that “the purpose of our lives is to serve the community". So at the age of twelve, she already had this mentality instilled in her and started a campaign amongst her community to donate books to charity organizations, hoping to spread the magic of words to underserved communities. At the same time, Clara opened an Instagram account to continue sharing her thoughts with other book lovers. Through this initiative, Clara believed she was able to help others, which made her feel gratified and showed her the importance of giving back to incite positive change.
Because of the pandemic, Clara remained in Hong Kong to continue her US studies online. She made use of this unprecedented time by creating a free after school academic enrichment program using her non-profit organization “Read for All” as a platform to reach out to primary and secondary students from subsidized schools in Hong Kong. Students participating in the program can choose from five subjects – English Writing, Mathematics, Physics, Film, and Screenwriting. Through the Read for All platform (www.readforallhk.com), the students can access each course's educational kit and enhance their knowledge in subjects that are outside of the school curriculum in a fun and engaging way.
Clara founded “Read For All” in 2016 when she discovered many students from underserved communities were unable to access various reading materials due to limited internet access and resources. She believed that knowledge, creativity and the arts were important aspects for a children’s development. Resonating with the statement “the purpose of our lives is to serve the community”, Clara decided to help underserved communities with her own knowledge and resources – this is how Read For All came to be.
In 2018, Clara collaborated with the “Light of Hope” Project and donated over 500 books to underserved communities in Hong Kong. Recently Clara created free educational kits for primary and secondary students and also provided free online tutoring sessions. As of now, there are over 2,000 students from 20 local schools that have participated in this initiative. Read For All will also select a few outstanding participants who will become the next student group's leaders to promote the idea of giving back and share knowledge with others. These leaders will guide the new students participating in the future programs.
Clara loves film production and communication because she believes that these two fields will be major developments in our new economy, which is why she has picked courses at school related to these two subjects and prepares to focus on Film in university. She also wishes to use her knowledge in film, which she gained from school in the United States, to teach primary and secondary students in Hong Kong, who are less exposed to these areas, so that they can discover their interests. She hopes that by doing so, students can have the opportunity to unleash their untapped potential and achieve their dreams.
Apart from furthering her studies in film production, Clara also started to write a novel. Her book “Behind the Scenes” will be published at the end of this year. “Behind the Scenes” is a story about a Chinese and American family living through the current pandemic. Clara hopes the cultural differences, conflicts between the two families, and close friendship between the characters can allow readers to understand that different cultures can come together to form a united front.
Furthermore, Clara also told me that she is busy collaborating with the charity organization Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. She is writing and directing a play at the end of the year for their students. She aims to help others and continue embracing “the purpose of our lives is to serve the community” mentality. Seeing Clara at such a young age confidently using her platform and resources to inspire and help the others reminds us of the importance of giving back and supporting our community.
Link to Article: https://bit.ly/37SWQZI