We are pleased to share the second part of our interview with Blue Garnet where they touch on the iterative nature of the program.
The interview was conducted with Blue Garnet team members Way-Ting Chen, Co-Founder and Senior Partner, and Yee-Sum Mak, Analyst. Visit Part 1 of their interview on User Experience here and learn more about Blue Garnet’s expansive social impact work by visiting their website at https://bluegarnet.net.
Interview Part 2: Program Evolution
HALO is now in its 12th year! In your mind, what’s changed, and what has stayed the same?
Yee-Sum: It feels like the program is changing all the time…
Way-Ting: Well it is, sort of!...
Yee-Sum: True, the program actually changes every year and even during the program year, because participant feedback is taken into consideration on an ongoing basis and incorporated into HALO Award curriculum refinement and delivery. We’re constantly recalibrating!
Way-Ting: Of course, having a global pandemic really shakes things up. I remember the mad scramble between the Cohort 9 luncheon, which was in person, and the first Peer Learning Session, which had to go virtual. We had to redesign and rework everything about the year we had planned! That said, there are plenty of things that haven’t changed, like the lightbulb moments participants have.
Yee-Sum: I’d say something else that’s always been a cornerstone of HALO is the fun of meeting and working with people who care deeply about their organization’s mission and creating meaningful experiences for their volunteers.
What’s something about the HALO year that still surprises you?
Way-Ting: I suppose it’s how much the HALO year indeed varies, year to year. I’ve been facilitating the HALO program for 10+ years now, and it’s NEVER the same experience. Whether it’s the specific organizations, their volunteer management issues, the people involved, or the macro environment, they all keep it engaging for me. Another surprise is how vast the world of volunteerism is, and how little people outside of this world know about the fundamental role and importance of it. It’s really surprising. THIS, we’re hoping to change!