The SYNC Comms Team Story
Updated: Jun 20, 2022
Communications carry the heart of SYNC’s work. From relatable memes to elaborate animations, to portraits, listicles, and even video productions, each and every one of SYNC’s communication pieces is thoroughly and lovingly thought through – to best capture and deliver messages for supporting mental health, thereby creating spaces for vulnerability and reflection.
The team behind this is impressively organized. Like a lean, mean fighting machine, SYNC’s Comms team - comprising 10 members and 3 sub-teams - systematically curates one post per week, on top of producing content for other special and ad-hoc projects. But things were not always like this. The team had modest and “more chaotic” beginnings. Today we feature some early members of the team - Bambby, Chris, Kat and Crystal - and their journey over the past two years.
“I’m not qualified at all! I just own a tablet, that’s how I qualified [laughs].” - Bambby
“And because I’m not very good at saying no to people, I just said yes.” - Crystal
As all tech-giant-origin-stories go, SYNC’s Comms team was founded in a school dormitory room, when Nicole (from Impart) “swivelled her chair over to (Bambby’s) side of the room” and said, “Hey, I just need someone to doodle!” Armed with her tablet, Apple pen, a nonexistent training in graphic design and her goodwill, Bambby agreed, and dove right in.
All four members fell into SYNC Comms like this, roped in by trusted friends, acquaintances or schoolmates. In many ways, their early journey embodies the phrase most often heard around Impart: ‘Little moments, larger narratives’. Little interactions, little opportunities, little yeses and little dreams that blossom and amount to larger change.
“[We] started from a NTU dorm, a “hey could you help me with this?”, and then it just exploded.”
Of course, things were not always smooth-sailing. Whilst the early team possessed the strengths of a small, ground-up initiative (nimbleness, flexibility, more efficient communication), they also faced several challenges relating to their size and stage. Limited manpower, moments nearing burnout, issues with structure, coordination and struggles with finding content were some of the regular stressors. In the words of Chris, “At the start it was just pretty chaotic.”
What followed was a process of path-finding and trial and error, to turn the chaos into organized chaos. (And also, to accommodate the many new volunteers who joined SYNC Comms!) A turning point came in mid-2021, when the entire Comms team gathered for the first time on Gather, an online virtual space, for a time of bonding and coordination. From the broad elements of design styles to the minutiae of fonts and font sizes, the team talked through every element of their work. They troubleshooted, problem solved, affirmed and co-created with each other. In this way, the technical and the relational came into sync, empowering the team, as they built on and drew from their own community, to better serve the wider youth community.
Outside of SYNC, the members lead full lives. Crystal is a sleep researcher, while Chris writes manuals “for all these technology things” (i.e., technical writer). Bambby is a film and video producer creating documentaries on science, environmental and social issues with a side passion in “singing wildly and head banging” in live music spaces; while Kat is also a researcher with a passion for dog-training, despite not owning a dog herself. There is much beauty in this diversity, which the team wholeheartedly embraces and celebrates. In turn, this diversity unites, strengthens and elevates. It adds to the tapestry of SYNC’s community and advocacy work.
Kat: “I really am low-key interested in dog training, you know, when you can train your dogs to do things. They have these touch buttons that your dogs can talk to you through, so your dog can say like, ‘Mom, food.’”
Interviewer: “That’s so interesting! So you have a dog yourself?”
Kat: “You see, that’s the thing! I don’t have a dog. [laughs]”
Beginning from a single ad-hoc volunteer, SYNC’s Comms team has grown to a full-sized team of writers, designers and managers with a clockwork-like work system. We thank Bambby, Chris, Crystal and Kat for their time, passion and love in growing SYNC’s work, and for sticking through the joys and struggles of volunteering. We believe that their influence has, and will continue to go further than they can ever imagine.
Clockwise from top left: Kat, Chris, Jing Yi, Hui Wen, Bambby, Crystal and Tiffany (un-pictured).