Blue Ocean Pioneers Program
Yuki Dai is a secondary school student who, through integrating areas of interest in biology, social justice, arts and entrepreneurship, seeks to create systems change in environmental conservation and socio-economic inequalities. He is a varsity athlete in basketball.
Throughout my childhood, he loved the game of basketball. The game loved him as well. I was blessed with height, athleticism and everything he needed to succeed. He was at the top of his class and never failed to perform under pressure. It made him overconfident and cocky about himself. He never sweated during practice, never came early nor stayed after, never took time to work on his game. During his 7th grade season, he noticed a slight change. He wasn’t blocking the shots he used to, rebounds were harder to grab, points were more difficult to score. Players were catching up with him. However, the confidence in him managed to whirl that thought around his brain. The next thing he knew, he wasn’t the best player on that court anymore. he was confused, bewildered at that fact. Later on that year, the player who has been my back-up for years started in front of him, and that moment hit him like a truck. After the game, he talked to his coach and found out that player has been in the gym, working his butt off everyday. This was the day he learnt that hard work beats talent and one gets what one puts in.
In high school, Yuki has taken an interdisciplinary approach to his growth through engaging in a wide spectrum of activities. Academically, to upskill towards his commitment to ocean conservation, he has completed two pre-college programs: one at University of California San Diego on marine biology, and second at University of Xiamen through the Blue Ocean Pioneers Program. In recognition for his research in this area, he was nominated to be a co-lead and presenter at Systems Change Summit, an official event at World Food Forum 2022, organized by UN FAO. Extracurricular wise, leveraging on his basketball leadership, he volunteered as a Coach and Mentor for local children in Wenzhou. In addition, fostering his musical talents, he is a First Violinist in his school orchestra. Furthermore, he is very passionate about embracing culture and diversity, and he is a member of both the Asian Affinity Club as well as the LGBT+ Association. Personally speaking, he is known as a caring and considerate young man who looks after his friends and teammates, on and off the court.
Looking into the culture, Yuki aims to integrate natural sciences and entrepreneurship to become a contributor in our ever growing battle to tackle ocean conservation, food security and sustainability, and other environmental issues. For him, the time to act is yesterday, and he hopes to inspire collective action on an intergenerational basis.