Meet Kelly. She is a volunteer interpreter at CIWA’s One-on-One Counselling Program and is June’s Volunteer of the Month.

Qingzhu (Kelly) Yuan immigrated from China in July of 2020. She has a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from America and is a Data Analyst by profession.

Kelly learned about CIWA through research prior to moving to Canada. She was drawn to CIWA’s breadth of services and was intrigued by its gender-specific focus. Not long after arriving to Calgary, she accessed CIWA’s services and was impelled to become involved.

Kelly began volunteering at CIWA in late summer of 2020. She started by providing interpretation and virtual class support to Mandarin-speaking seniors for the Everyday English for Seniors Program. She is now an interpreter with the One-on-One Counselling for Immigrant Women. Her support has helped break the isolation among our older clients by connecting and engaging Chinese seniors to online group sessions. In addition to group support, Kelly also developed new ways to track and document details that are important to capture for reporting. Her experience at CIWA inspires her to keep striving to learn more and grow no matter her age because of how the clients have changed her.

“It is inspirational to see seniors learn new skills and the phrase ‘being a lifelong learner’ has been demonstrated in real and meaningful ways.”

Kelly enjoys volunteering because it gives her great pride knowing what she does makes a difference. She enjoys providing interpretation so that clients can understand what is happening in the group, and they too can be understood through the interpretation she provides. She gains joy and satisfaction from supporting people and seeing them progress.
“Change no matter how small, baby steps included, is a beautiful thing to witness”
Kelly shares that her patience and learning how to best support clients have greatly improved. Her volunteerism experience has kept her busy and has given her a sense of connection to society. Volunteering is a fast way for newcomers to connect, gain a sense of value, and learn about their new surroundings. As well volunteering has proven to be one of the best ways she is able to talk to others and form meaningful connections.

Kelly is diligent, passionate and always gives 100% to CIWA even when busy with her studies. CIWA staff appreciate Kelly’s remarkable motivation and skills that support the seniors’ program. She makes sure that she reaches out to every individual in order to connect with them in meaningful ways. Without her intentional support it would have been impossible for staff to reach Mandarin speaking clients.

In her spare time, she enjoys painting, hiking, cooking, and more. She also invests a lot of time networking and growing her skills in data analysis in order to further her career.

Congratulations, Kelly, for being Volunteer of the Month for June! Click here for more information on volunteering opportunities.