Glenn Yong On The Importance Of Philanthropy, Chasing Your Dreams And Being A Positive Force

Force for change

Glenn Yong has had a blockbuster year. From releasing new music to attending fashion weeks around the world, the suave multi-hyphenate is making waves locally and abroad. His latest project though, is something closer to his heart—the singer taking part in Extra·Ordinary Stars this December, a star-studded fundraiser concert that aims to empower and inspire youths with special needs and of less privileged background to dream. The 100-minute live performance will also feature international artists A-Lin and Cyril Takayama, as well as Taiwanese talents and local talents Benjamin Kheng and Wheel Smith, among many more talented performers. Ahead of his appearance at the conert, we speak to Yong about the importance of volunteering and philanthropy, sticking to his guns and chasing his dreams, and being a force of good in the world.

GRAZIA Singapore: You’ve been active in volunteering and philanthropic efforts since your polytechnic days, what drives you to continue charity efforts to underprivileged groups in Singapore and beyond?

The work is not done yet; there’s so much more we can do to make the world a better place and transform more lives on Earth. Every day, I am aware of my purpose with the position that I’ve been blessed with—a purpose meant to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. With the platform and influence at my disposal, I can mobilise support for causes, raise awareness, and leverage my capabilities to listen to and inspire both young people and underprivileged groups.

GRAZIA Singapore: In your opinion, why are dreams so powerful as a force of positive change?

Dreams gives us hope, it gives us something positive to look towards. It is crucial to have dreams and visions for the future as they provide the energy and extra motivation to believe that life is worth living, and a better future awaits us!

GRAZIA Singapore: Your career has been going well, from going to fashion week to working with various top brands. But beyond your career, what are some personal goals you have for yourself? How do you foresee yourself achieving these goals?

I want to become a global ambassador for an NPO that is making real changes in third-world nations, whether in education, providing shelter, or ensuring clean water. My goal is to offer hope and dreams, breaking the chains of poverty so that individuals can dare to dream and achieve incredible feats.

I believe it begins by working in my local community and collaborating with organizations like MSF and MCCY to comprehend the needs of these people and identify actionable steps. This groundwork will pave the way for expanding efforts on a global scale.

GRAZIA Singapore: Reality isn’t always kind to those who dream big. As someone pursuing a rather unorthodox career path, what drives you to continue chasing your dreams despite the naysayers and challenges that come with the job?

I love it when my back is against the wall, and the only way to go is forward. Challenges inspire and grow me, so I actively seek them. It’s almost like an athlete’s mindset; I want to conquer all the seemingly impossible challenges that naysayers present to me because it brings me satisfaction.

GRAZIA Singapore: What change do you wish to impart to the Extra·Ordinary People community?

I aspire to raise more awareness for this community, providing them with an opportunity to showcase their talents to the world. It’s crucial to let them know that they are not only appreciated but also celebrated.

The Extra·Ordinary Stars Fundraiser Concert will be held on 1 December 2023 at The Star Theatre. Ticket sales are now open, and ticket prices start from $128 and up. The proceeds will be distributed equally amongst the three IPC charity organisations: Extra·Ordinary People, Happee Hearts Movement, and YMCA. There will be a 250% tax rebate with every ticket purchase.