Karen Chen – Volunteer of the Month for February 2024

Karen Chen understands the challenges of rebuilding a life in a new country and the transformative power of community support.

“As an immigrant from China, I can empathize deeply with the challenges of starting anew,” she said. 

“My own experience of navigating a new environment inspired me to provide the kind of support I wish I had when I first arrived.”

Karen started volunteering with Immigrant Services Calgary in October 2023, supporting the eye clinic team by coordinating client appointments, check-ins, and other administrative tasks.

“Witnessing the crucial role Immigrant Services Calgary played in my settlement motivated me to contribute to their mission in my own little way,” she said.

A highly self-motivated person with a background in multicultural and multilingual customer relations, Karen’s can-do attitude made her a perfect fit for the team.

“Within a short period of time with the eye clinic, Karen’s exceptional communication, engagement, and administrative skills really stood out,” said Maram Hajjo, Volunteer Department Coordinator.

Karen didn’t know that signing up for a volunteering position at Immigrant Services Calgary would eventually lead to a job—but that’s exactly what happened.

She impressed the team so much that she was encouraged to apply for a client care representative position, which she successfully secured.

Today, Karen is one of the first employees clients see when they walk through the doors of the Gateway Newcomer Welcome Centre. And she loves it!

“What I enjoy most is the chance to create meaningful connections with individuals from diverse backgrounds, and positively impact their lives,” she said.