By Poesy Chen, Innovation Director
People often ask me how I became the person that I am today. Honestly, it was through volunteer work. Initially, the rush of being “invited” to volunteer made me feel included, and that felt good. Soon, volunteering became a source of my personal pride, and contributed greatly to my growth as an individual as well as in my career.
Doing good for the good of others has become my personal motto.
My name is Poesy Chen. I first came to Mobile Pathways (MP) as an outside consultant, and later as a volunteer. When COVID hit, I led the initiative to onboard all the non-profits that were distributing cash aid onto our platform. I later joined MP as the Innovation Director. With my background as an enterprise-level technology consultant, I lead the design and development efforts behind MP’s various platforms and applications.
In layman’s terms, I’m just your average technology executive/consultant, and a mom juggling work and home life.
My parents brought us to Canada in the late 80s when I was already a teenager. I am Chinese, but I am not from China. I am from Taiwan, or as I have known it all my life, “the Republic of China”. Most nations do not recognize the democratic Taiwan as a country, especially if they wish to keep their diplomatic relationship with the People’s Republic of China. 😊
I always thought my parents emigrated from Taiwan to escape the much feared and potentially inevitable reintegration with communist China. Very recently, I learned the truth.
My parents did it for me so I could have the chance to attend higher education, and to become the version of me I am today.
You see, Taiwan’s students compete for the chance to attend good schools, and the competition is fierce. My parents saw the best in me even when the system couldn’t. They sacrificed everything to give me the opportunity to reach my full potential. For that, I am eternally grateful. 🙏
My parents also made a very smart decision to live in a small rural town when we first moved to Canada. I was perhaps one of two minority kids in my school. My classmates always accepted me just as any other student, and never treated me any differently. I often wonder if things would have turned out differently had we lived in a major city surrounded by other Chinese immigrants. Would I have been brave enough to use my then broken English to make friends, or would I have retreated into the safety of my own community and found comfort in the familiar?
This is obviously a longer-term goal, but step by step we are getting closer. My work with Mobile Pathways makes me smile everyday. It is not because the work is different. I am still a consultant. I work with technology. I solve problems. The difference comes from the motivation. I smile more because I know that the work I am doing has a real impact out there. I am “doing good for the good of others.” My deepest desire is to help others do their jobs better. Mobile Pathways provides the tools to help other nonprofits to be more effective. When they can do more with the resources they have, we can all reach more people and deliver more impact. One of my future goals is to start an internship program within Mobile Pathways.
I want to invite and mentor others just as I was invited and mentored in my youth.
Remember, we are all humans, and we share the same desire to protect our families and share the same hope of a better life for future generations. Confucius had a saying, ”己所不欲勿施於人." This means, “Treat others as you would like to be treated”. It is with this hope, that I continue my work with Mobile Pathways. I hope to see you reach out and volunteer and help us reach our goals.