James A. Handrich Service Leadership Endowment Fund
Francis He '32, one of the youngest recipients for this year's award, prepares to present his project to serve people
in Hong Kong.
The James A. Handrich Service Leadership Endowment Fund (also known as the Jim Handrich Award) was established in June 2007 by HKIS and alumni Desmond Chu ’91 and Kenneth Koo ’79, in honor of Associate Head of School James (Jim) A. Handrich. Jim retired in July 2007 after 24 years with HKIS.
The purpose of this Endowment is to help further the school’s Mission and two Student Learning Results: Self Motivated Learning and Contributing to Society. Students are invited to apply for funding each year to support their projects. This year, 8 talented students received an award. Read about their projects below!
Data Science for Underprivileged Students
Christine Lam ‘24
Christine Lam received the Jim Handrich Award for creating a data science course for underserved students in Hong Kong. As STEM is a rapidly growing field, this program can provide girls with access to an introductory data science program, in hopes they will pursue a data science career in the future. Christine will collaborate with charities (such as Caritas and the Society for Community Organization) to identify underserved students. She will also work with Preface Nomad, a coding educational institution, to help create the curriculum for the program. As a woman in STEM, Christine will use the fund to run this program so that girls can have the foundational knowledge they need to succeed in the field.
Christine Lam ‘24
Christine Lam received the Jim Handrich Award for a second project relating to computer science. She created an application (app) called
This app incentivizes exercise and uses a virtual reward system to maintain a healthy lifestyle. By utilizing a token economy, users gain clovers and water to build their virtual greenhouse garden as they log their moving time when exercising. The issue of inactivity runs rampant in Hong Kong, and this app promotes healthy exercising habits that motivate individuals to focus on their health and well-being. As chief programmer of this project, Christine has overseen the entire development process and will continue to do so as the app develops further.
FXS: Fashion X Sustainability
Laura Marques Leal ‘25
Laura Marques Leal received the Jim Handrich Award for her passion project: FXS (Fashion X Sustainability). FXS sells and advocates for sustainable fashion and product outreach. Profits earned will be used to support non-profit organizations such as Trees for All, an NGO that aims to replant trees in Portugal and other European countries. All clothing produced will raise awareness for the human and biodiversity impacts a wildfire can have on a country, specifically Portugal. From Portugal herself, Laura has a strong passion for sustainability and biodiversity in her home country. The clothing she sells will all be made from sustainable resources, and the profits will go to planting trees in the in-need regions of the world.
Immigrant / Refugee Mental Health Project
Joshua Lee ‘25
Joshua Lee, a proponent of mental health and wellbeing, was awarded funding for his Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Project, which aims to decrease mental stress and provide psychological support for refugees through a series of events such as guest speakers, therapy sessions, and workshops. These events will help raise awareness of mental health issues that refugees face and educate them on how to break the vicious cycle of negative thinking. Some specific events include a mental health workshop and an art therapy session. By bridging the gap between vulnerable groups and Hong Kong students, Joshua hopes to encourage his peers to join the action and improve the mental wellbeing of refugees.
Homeless in Hong Kong
Francis He ‘32
As one of the youngest recipients of the Award, Francis He found his passion for helping people who experience homelessness through his first Kindness Walk with ImpactHK, organized by the Upper Primary Service Club . During the walk, he became more informed about the “street-sleepers” of Hong Kong and wanted to raise awareness for this issue within Upper Primary. His goal is to organize a large-scale Kindness Walk for his
to learn more about this homelessness issue. With the support of the Upper Primary Administration, Francis will promote this Kindness Walk, which he hopes will increase awareness and make an impact on homelessness in Hong Kong.
Beyond the Bricks
Thad Sandeen ‘24 and Rohan Shah ‘24
Thad Sandeen and Rohan Shah are juniors who have used their past interest in LEGO to create a creative program for underserved children. In hopes of offering a unique outlet for creativity in children, this project will be a collaboration with The Hub, a child and youth center. Thad and Rohan will use LEGO as a way to bolster children’s creativity and imagination. LEGOs are the fundamentals of basic block building and are safe and easy to use for children. Children in this program will create buildings with LEGOS and will be able to showcase them at HKIS. This showcase will also be a way for children to interact and form connections with others outside of their typical environment.
Sai Kung Stray Friends Website
Elisa Kirk Colombano ‘24, Katherine Kim ‘25, Seri Egashira ‘25, Keira Hawkyard ‘24
The Animal and Safety Protection (ASAP) Club members and leaders were recipients of the Jim Handrich Award for creating a website dedicated to supporting underfunded animal shelters. They also created a hub for volunteering and donation opportunities for the Sai Kung Stray Friends Foundation (SKSFF). By selling hand-crafted dog toys and SKSFF tote bags, the website can generate a revenue stream, which will be returned back to the shelter. This project supports local organizations in Hong Kong and is supported entirely by passionate members of the ASAP club who want to make a positive impact on the animal community in Hong Kong.
Cristal Hong Kong
Anita Qian ‘24, Michelle Li ‘24
Michelle and Anita aim to assist the underserved community of refugees and the impoverished in Hong Kong. They will use the Jim Handrich fund to support Cristal Hong Kong, a non-profit store that sells handmade jewelry and candles created by the owners themselves. All profits will go directly to a local charity that aims to alleviate poverty in Hong Kong. The store incorporates Michelle and Anita’s passion for art and creation, as well as their involvement in service. The goal of the project is to give back to the society that they grew up in and to spread awareness on the issue of poverty by educating people and acknowledging the severity of the issue.