Volunteer Profile: Claudia Li

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Volunteer Profile: Claudia Li

By: Jessica Doherty | Volunteer Services Assistant
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Claudia Li could have entered a photo in any of the five categories featured in the WIL photo contest. She has had international experience with an exchange at the Chinese University in Hong Kong. She participated in Co-op through the SFU Encouraging Dynamic Global Entrepreneurship (EDGE) program two summers ago in Scotland. And yet, it was a photo entered in the Community Engagement category that stood out. “Volunteering has motivated me to do many things” this Business major reflects. Li was looking to volunteer and gain some international experience, when a friend mentioned that she volunteered with Rotary. Li thought she would give it a try, and has been a member ever since.

“I am passionate about community development and this is why I continue to be a part of Rotaract and Rotary” she says. “They encourage and support youth in personal development and community engagement through many youth programs and scholarships.” Now the president of the New West Rotaract club (the youth division of the world-wide Rotary organization), Li has had the opportunity to participate in, and even organize, some of Rotary’s community building events.

The photo she submitted to the WIL photo contest this year was taken during one such event, at a Hindu temple called Shree Mahalakshmi Temple in Vancouver, during what’s called a “Rotaract Roundtrip”. The Rotaract clubs around the Lower Mainland organized this event and members from around the world came to Vancouver for a ten day cultural experience. “The goal was to engage with Rotaractors around the globe in the beautiful multicultural diversity of Canada,” Li comments. “This particular picture, to me, represents that interaction and an appreciation of the diversity of culture and people.”

Now Li and other Rotaract clubs in the 5040 district have moved on to their next challenge, the Rotaract Big Give. Teams of four youth can submit a community project proposal with the potential to win $1000 in seed money and $500 scholarships for each member of the group.

Currently completing her Honours in Sustainability, this project holds particular meaning to Li. “Especially now, with the economic crisis, the community needs to band together” she says. “In the end, sustainability is all about the community.” With community development at the heart of her studies and her volunteer work, there is little doubt Li will leave an indelible imprint on her community for years to come.

Posted on November 19, 2010