• Agnes Chiu is a 15-year-old high school student in Hong Kong.
  • She participated in the 2023 UNITAR Youth Ambassador Asia Pacific Programme, which aims to empower high school students in Asian-Pacific countries to lead change.
  • She founded “Design Your Life at 25” to guide teenagers in career planning. To date, the programme has trained 300 young people from 14 countries through engaging career-visioning workshops.
  • Agnes is piloting an AI-driven app to make her initiative more attractive to youth and accessible in multiple languages, starting with Egypt and expanding to other countries.

Agnes Chiu, a high school student in Hong Kong, leads a global youth initiative called “Design Your Life at 25” to help teenagers envision their life and career paths and make informed decisions to reach their dreams. In immersive three-hour workshops, Agnes and her team guide teenagers through self-discovery journeys to envision their lives at age 25. To date, the initiative has already trained 300 young people from 14 countries. Inspired by the UNITAR Asia Pacific Ambassador Programme, Agnes and her team are now developing an app driven by artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance engagement and accessibility for her workshops.



Agnes’s journey began one day when she and her brother were rummaging through their father’s garage. They stumbled upon the book Designing Your Life, authored by two professors from a leading US university, which proposed a framework for people to envision and design their ideal careers and lives. The discovery of the book sparked an idea: to adapt the book’s principles for teenagers like themselves.

My brother and I were thinking about our future and our careers, and we were feeling stuck. Coincidentally, we came across a book in our father’s garage called Designing Your Life.” – Agnes Chiu, high school student from Hong Kong and UNITAR Youth Ambassador Asia Pacific 2023

They brainstormed and began adopting the principles of the book into a programme for youth. They aimed to make career planning more engaging and inspiring through a series of online and offline workshops, each lasting three hours, dedicated to self-discovery.


Agnes Chiu, UNITAR Youth Ambassador 2023

Agnes’s path was not without challenges. She faced scepticism from people about her age and experience. At times, these doubts crept into her mind, making her question her chosen path.

The biggest problem is people don’t trust us. It’s like, ‘Oh, you’re 15? And you’re 17? Who are you to tell me how to design my life at 25? How helpful are you?’ We face a lot of these doubts from both adults and teenagers who want to join us.” – Agnes Chiu, high school student from Hong Kong and UNITAR Youth Ambassador Asia Pacific 2023

But amid the doubts, a spark of inspiration reignited Agnes’s determination, and it came from Egypt. One young person expressed interest in joining the programme, and soon after, Agnes noticed a surge in registrations from Egyptian participants. Agnes discovered that one participant had shared information about her initiative widely in group chats and on social media. Word spread quickly, leading to a significant response from young people from Egypt eager to participate in the “Design Your Life at 25” workshops. This prompted Agnes to expand her focus beyond Hong Kong to include Egyptian communities.

The passion and eagerness of these participants deeply moved Agnes. One student, in particular, made a lasting impression. Despite having school lessons at the same time as the workshop, she managed to join and actively participate, asking questions in Arabic, which Agnes’s friend translated into English. At the end of the session, the student expressed heartfelt gratitude to Agnes for her valuable insights, emphasizing how the opportunity for self-discovery had kindled newfound confidence and aspirations within her.

To them, this experience was so valuable. They didn’t question us or our expertise.” – Agnes Chiu, a high school student from Hong Kong and UNITAR Youth Ambassador Asia Pacific 2023

The enthusiasm shown by the Egyptian participants showed Agnes that her initiative could make an impact far beyond her hometown. She also realized that similar resources and opportunities were needed not only in Egypt but worldwide. Now, she aims to expand globally, especially to reach more underprivileged youth who otherwise might not have access to such opportunities.



Agnes first learned about the UNITAR Youth Ambassador Asia Pacific Programme from a fellow school council member who had joined the programme when it first launched in 2021. The programme not only deepened Agnes’s understanding of global issues but excited her interest in emerging technologies, especially AI. She proposed integrating AI into the Design Your Life at 25 initiative, envisioning a mobile app to make career planning interactive and engaging for teenagers.

The app will resemble a game to appeal to young users, featuring virtual islands representing various aspects of life, and will incorporate an AI chatbot that provides personalized responses for career-related questions. Additionally, the app will include a Life Design Studio for workshops, personality tests, and challenges related to career planning and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The app will be tested among cohorts in Egypt by late 2024 and officially launched by 2025, to reach 500 participants within a year. If successful, Agnes plans to expand its reach to other countries within one or two years, with the ultimate goal of enabling teenagers worldwide to benefit from her programme.

Problems won’t wait for us. We need to take action now and leverage every tool at our disposal to create a better world.” – Agnes Chiu, high school student from Hong Kong and UNITAR Youth Ambassador Asia Pacific 2023


The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a dedicated training arm of the United Nations. In 2022, UNITAR trained over 395,000 learners around the world to support their actions for a better future. In addition to our headquarters in Geneva, we have offices in Hiroshima, New York and Bonn and networks around the world.

The Division for Prosperity is based in the Hiroshima Office and Geneva. We seek to shape an inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world through world-class learning and knowledge-sharing services on entrepreneurship, leadership, finance and trade, digital technologies, and nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. We empower individuals from least-developed countries, countries emerging from conflict, and small-island developing states – especially women and young people – to bring about positive change.

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