Lei along with her husband and son moved to Prince Edward Island in 2009, then moved to Calgary a year later in 2010. Since then, they had two more children. She has a diploma in Education and worked as a teacher in China. Currently she teaches Mandarin to high school students on weekends. In addition, she volunteers at multiple organizations that include her children’s schools.

Lei received different supportive services from CIWA but primarily stayed at home to focus on her young family. In 2022 a friend encouraged her to volunteer and introduced her to CIWA staff. Currently she provides Mandarin support with students in the Pebbles in the Sand program.

She wanted to volunteer in order to give back, support newcomers, and to improve her English. Lei said she volunteers to ‘pass all the love and I feel lucky and happy when I volunteer’. This absolutely shines through in all that she does with the students and in all communication with staff. As a former newcomer herself she is able to identify with them in meaningful ways. Lei enjoys taking the time to learn the students’ specific needs in order to best help and make them feel better.

She says that volunteering has helped her in different ways. She said that improving her English skills is one of the biggest ways volunteering has helped her. This is especially important since she primarily speaks Mandarin at home and work. In addition, she is glad to be in a diverse environment where she learns about other cultures, socializes and makes new friends.

Lei also added that CIWA staff have been very supportive of her. They have modeled patience, excellent teaching and more and that she continually learns from them and grows because of the kindness they show to her and students.

Lei is a deeply committed volunteer. She communicates openly and is a pleasure to interact with. She is pleasant, timely, and thorough. She isn’t afraid to seek clarity when needed and is honest about her limitations yet still looks for a creative solution to still get the job done. She will go over and above to fulfill her duties and to learn new things to adapt in her volunteer roles or in her everyday life.

Lei’s hobbies include travel, cooking, crafts with children and drawing.