Volunteer of the Month

Volunteer of the Month

June 3, 2019

Junghwa (Jennie) An
Name:  Junghwa (Jennie) An
Property:  Belle Terre

Why did you choose to volunteer with Eden Housing?

 I was raised by my grandmother and always felt a connection with elders. I felt that it was a privilege to teach and learn from the experiences of the elder generation.

What have you done as a volunteer?  Please describe your role and what you have worked on.

I teach conversational English to the ESL members of the community. I go in twice a week to teach relevant terminology in our current society that the members can use in everyday situations.

What have you learned through your volunteer experience?  Have there been any surprises?

I’ve learned that I really enjoy teaching and spending time with the elderly. Speaking with them on a one on one basis and learning about their background has brought much joy. The only surprises are the unfortunate situations when a student of mine has passed away. This has happened once during my time here and it was difficult for me because of the relationship I built with that student and his wife before his passing.

What do you like best about volunteering with Eden Housing?

I love all the elders that I’ve come across and have had the privilege of getting to know. Sharing stories and conversations with them is always very pleasant and brightens up my day. I also really enjoy my time working with the staff, as they’ve been really supportive throughout my entire time here.

Are there any tips that you would share for someone else who is considering volunteering?

I think it’s important to keep an open mind because every person has their own life experience, cultural background and stories to share. Sometimes it may seem difficult to get the elders to open up and share, however with time they develop a trust towards you and in turn you’ll get the opportunity to get to know them and learn from them as well, which is very rewarding.

Tell us something we may not know about you. Any interesting facts you’d like to share about your life?

I am a proud dog mom of three beautiful Dachshunds (wiener dogs); Podo, Pinot and Gustavo. I’m also a huge Harry Potter fan and have finally visited the Warner Bros. Harry Potter World in England. My favorite drink at Starbucks is an iced venti latte with soy.