Hatch Stories | It Starts with Courage
Updated: Nov 26, 2021
In light of our rebranding efforts, we found it timely to concurrently publish our first-ever Impact Report, a document that intimately details the journey and growth we’ve been through. In navigating how the report should be like, we landed on anchoring courage as the central theme of our impact report. The trait itself comes and unfolds in different forms, as we’ve learnt to harness it in different ways through our evolution as a company.
This article was extracted and adapted from our 2021 Impact Report. If you would like to read the report at length, you can head over to our Impact Page to access it.
For the past month, we’ve been working hard to internally review our processes and impact since inception to date.
What birthed from this is our first impact report — “Courage to Be”.
Whilst we embarked on our rebranding as a team, we realised we had bigger dreams than what represents our brand now. It’s heartening to know the team has the courage to dream bigger and articulate these ambitions clearly. We must now grow our internal capabilities to reach these dreams.
In our first ever open publication, we write about what impact means and looks like to us. Our thoughts and emotions took time to gather and form into words, and we eventually settled on having courage as the central theme of our first impact report. Courage comes and unfolds in different forms. Here, we share four forms of courage we have come to meet on our journey — the courage to challenge, the courage to believe, the courage to dream, and the courage to be.
Courage to Challenge
By Victor Zhu
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer
As a society, we talk a lot about exciting possibilities regarding ideas and opportunities, yet seem to reserve it only for the crème de la crème of people. Is this rooted in reason or have we just accepted it to be the case? For Li Ying, Wan Qing, and myself, that question was a rhetorical one. With a certain principle-driven conviction, we came together with the dream of making exciting careers accessible for anyone willing to work for them.
Hatch started out as an act of defiance — a challenge of sorts. We wanted to prove that the stigmatising labels often associated with individuals from difficult backgrounds don’t define them, and that one’s past circumstances bear little merit on future career potential. To us, that meant helping people from all walks of life discover their strengths, build skills, and enter jobs with good prospects and progression.
It should not matter if you are at a different starting point from others. What was clear to us from the onset was that we wanted to design services that can work for the masses. In particular, we were, and still are, against pricing quality education at a premium, having seen how it leaves tons of potential untapped in the majority who are unable to afford them. As idealistic as this sounds, we believed it was worth a shot, and started trying to create a better alternative to employability training.
Our first pilot involved three young individuals who were turned away by would-be employers because of the labels they carried. In this pilot program, the students have each gone through different journeys in their growth, and emerged as confident young persons using the skills and experiences gained for the next stage of their lives. I think the three of them have, in their unique ways, given society reason to rethink its collective notion of human potential.
To me, courage comes not from our external symbols of success, but instead the validation and appreciation from the individuals and organisations we set out to serve.
Following our initial success, we began considering how we could run this training again, this time with a larger audience. The uncertainty and barriers to picking up skills for a good career actually apply to the ordinary folk who need, more than anything, the right support and environment to flourish.
Courage to Believe
By Choo Liying
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer
We journey with learners and organisations at the intersections of skills, identity, and relevance in our work.
For our learners, things start with exploring their beliefs and identity, and how these tie in with their goals and aspirations. For our organisations, it starts with designating an endpoint, and navigating this path together with them. That, in itself, requires them to have faith as well.
We see on a regular basis how much courage it takes to believe, similar to whether we believe the social mission of having accessible digital and design opportunities for everyone is within reach. We believe every one of us here at Hatch draws some form of personal connection to the work that we do, and takes heart in the impact generated from our various programs over the years.
But the systems of private education and opportunity inequality are enormous, and our operations thus far have barely scratched the surface of deeper, underlying systemic barriers we’ve been working hard to eliminate.
On that note, thankfully, we have realised systemic change need not come solely from work that specifically targets their mechanisms. Change can also come from groundwork with organisations and individuals, who are both part of and valued contributors towards the community.
The work required of Hatch appears to clearly intersect between two definitions of impact — we are working to create a space where diverse individuals can feel comfortable and bold.
As a whole, we nurture our learners’ courage to work towards their dreams and flourish, whilst engaging with organisations to build their confidence in these new generations of learners.
Ultimately, we’re setting a precedent for the unified direction of acceptance and equality in the future, and I hope that the journeys of these individuals and businesses will go on to inspire others as well.