Meet Jessie. She is a volunteer with the NFNG and is the Volunteer of the Month for October.

Jessie Shen is originally from China where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Literature and Culture and taught Mandarin to international students. She and her husband came to Canada in 2011. She earned a Diploma in Social Work – Immigrants and Refugees, and she is currently working towards a Bachelor of Social Work from University of Calgary. She aspires to work with either youth and/or seniors in the future.

Jessie successfully completed the Labour Market Bridging for Volunteers: Interpretation and Translation Program (LMB Program) in 2019. While she was enrolled in the program, she started volunteering as a facilitator through the New Friends and Neighborhood Groups Program (NFNG).

As a volunteer facilitator, Jessie collaborates with other volunteers to plan and lead activities that support immigrant women form meaningful friendships and enhance their spoken English while learning about life in Canada. She also provides Mandarin interpretation at the sessions, which is a pivotal service in order for the clients to have better experiences week after week. Jessie additionally works with the Volunteer Program to provide interpretation support at clients’ appointments.

Jessie has deep resolve and beautiful optimism that opens her eyes to opportunities and impel her forward toward her goals and aspirations. Her adventurous spirit led her to acquire a multitude of roles after completing the LMB Program. She has completed both volunteer and contractual work through a wide variety of organizations in Calgary.

“I want to catch all opportunities. I offer to be a bridge and I see more because of the work I do.”

She radiates passion for volunteerism and is an upstanding model of what it means to adhere to one’s commitment. She is readily available and brings her absolute best to the group each and every time. During the COVID crisis, Jessie has been a solid rock for the Mandarin speaking clients and went over and above the call of duty to connect with participants individually in order to provide support in their first language so that they could join the virtual group.

She holds to the philosophy of ‘whatever you promise, you have to complete’ and it shows in how she faithfully brings her utmost best each and every week. It is obvious that group participants love and appreciate her as well as her co-facilitators who are thankful for her steady as a rock support and valuable guidance she provides. She is clearly passionate and devoted to her commitments at CIWA.

Jessie enjoys spending time doing activities with her children, baking, and listening to music. She is also an avid reader who deeply appreciates the feel and smell of reading a physical book.

Congratulations, Jessie, on being volunteer of the month for October 2020!To learn more about volunteer opportunities click here.