Alejandra Rivano Tolosa - Volunteer of the Month for August 2020
Congratulations Alejandra Rivano Tolosa, on being Immigrant Services Calgary’s August Volunteer of the Month!
Although Alejandra registered in only November of last year, she has been a regular and enthusiastic volunteer for various programs at ISC. As an office support volunteer, Alejandra helped with the Newcomer Eye Clinics, where she greeted clients and helped them to register for the clinics. She then transitioned to helping at ISC’s Interpretation and Translation Centre (ITC) at the reception desk, where she assisted visitors to the centre. When we moved our services online during the COVID-19 pandemic, we were lucky enough to have Alejandra’s continued support. She helped the ITC as a proofreader for their Spanish translations, as well as continuing her office support duties from home.
Everyone who has had the chance to work with Alejandra has nothing but nice things to say about her professionalism and her positive attitude. We are so lucky to have volunteers like her supporting our work. Thank you again, Alejandra!
Here is her story:
My passion for communication and interaction with others led me to pursue and complete my original career as a Journalist in my home country, Chile. Working in this field, I had the opportunity to interview countless people with different backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and occupations in my native language, Spanish. It was after my trip to Europe in 2007 when I realized that I urgently had to improve my English skills to communicate with a wider spectrum of people worldwide. That is why I decided to come to Canada in 2012 for only one year to study and work in this country.
However, the circumstances in my life made me stay for much longer. Once I got my permanent residence in 2016 and my English skills were good enough, I studied English for Academic Purposes at Bow Valley College and then I enrolled in the Medical Office Assistant program at the same institution. Certainly, this new career opened the door for me to enter the Calgary job market while interacting with patients and demonstrate my computer, administrative and reception skills. It was in this transition between finishing my studies and finding a position as a Medical Office Assistant that I registered as a Volunteer at Immigrant Services Calgary.
As an adventurous and curious person who likes to read, travel and learn about new cultures and languages, I considered joining ISC as a great opportunity, not only to gain more skills and Canadian experience but also to help immigrants from different parts of the world who are facing struggles such as I had when I arrived in Canada. My journey at ISC started as a receptionist for the Eye Clinic where I had to check-in patients and provide information about the clinics. Then, I agreed to be an office support volunteer in the reception for Language Bank and primarily contribute to the correction of Spanish translations. Recently, I had the opportunity to be in charge of the execution of a data entry project for this department in a virtual manner due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
In these uncertain times for our community and the world, I feel truly fortunate to be part of ISC and Language Bank. Unquestionably, I have found not only excellent professionals but also persons with high human quality. I am so grateful that I can continue contributing to my knowledge and skills to help immigrants in Calgary by providing accurate correction of translations and offering a great customer service experience for our clients. I will continue working hard in everything that I do, and I am ready for the new challenges to come as a volunteer. Thank you very much for having me, let me shine and grow, and be part of your team. It is an honour for me to receive this recognition as Volunteer of the Month.
Alejandra’s teammates at the Interpretation and Translation Centre contributed these kind words about her work with them:
When I first met Alejandra, I was very impressed by her professionalism. She attended ISC’s clients at the reception desk very attentively and always with a smile on her face. She is an active volunteer at the Interpretation and Translation Centre (ITC) and is an integral part of the Centre. I had the opportunity to work closely with Alejandra and she was a pleasure to work with. She is very diligent in her work and detail-oriented. She completed her task promptly and with excellence. Alejandra has shown great dedication and commitment while volunteering at the Centre and the team at ITC is very lucky to have her support.
Interpretation and Translation Centre
Alejandra joined the ITC team of volunteers approximately six months ago. Since then she has generously offered her time to help us at various roles. She has meticulously proofread several translated documents to ensure we deliver the trusted quality translation to our clients. Her adaptability during COVID-19 that forced us to work from home is commendable. She is always willing to help and very reliable when given a task. ITC is very fortunate to have you, Alejandra!
Interpretation and Translation Centre