Volunteering Story Sharing | Sophia Xin & Julia Fang

Julia Fang on the left, Sophia Xin on the right

From Volunteer to Service Initiative Founder

“I first discovered Stepping Stones in 2020 when volunteering for the Home Classroom Program in the Fall Semester. The students’ passion and charisma quickly inspired me to start a service initiative at Concordia with my volunteering partner Julia in order to give opportunities to international students to serve their community in a productive and rewarding way.”

Ever since the Spring of 2021, the Concordia team has worked with Stepping Stones to coordinate and teach online classes for Home Classroom Program. Now, we are proud to have 21 current members involved in our initiative, and we’re so excited to see the program continue even after we graduate.”

Sophia Xin

Concordia students participating in the volunteering initiative in collaboration with Stepping Stones (Sophia and Julia on the top left)

Memorable Moment

“A memorable moment I had with the kids was on April 15th. We were on Level 4 Lesson 18 and were set to watch a short clip from Harry Potter that day. I still remember how excited the students were when we mentioned it in class the week before. Then the time finally came – It was April 15th, Harry Potter class day! I went into the classroom 7 minutes before class started to set up the presentation as usual, however, this time two excited students were already in the classroom waiting for me. I greeted them and we proceeded to talk about Harry Potter for the next few minutes until the teacher and other students showed up. I was so happy to see how excited the students were to learn and the class turned out great! We had the students read out loud and translate the dialogue, which was challenging, however, really fun and rewarding. A few of them even tried to mimic the English accents Harry and Ron had!”

Isaac Luo, who will be taking over the Concordia Stepping Stones initiative together with Joe Liang next year, had one particularly memorable experience teaching the kids.

The memorable Harry Potter class 
(Issac as coordinator and Joe as a teacher)

An Inspiring Experience

Seeing the children learn and grow in the classroom and engage with the class material, even through a screen, is really inspiring. We are so grateful to be a part of a program that fosters a passion for education, even in times of turmoil such as the pandemic, and pushes past the boundaries of unfortunate situations to give young students access to quality resources.

Julia Fang

Julia Fang in class

Full-circle and Unforgettable

Growing up in a community where education is so often emphasized, we have come to learn the importance of having kind and encouraging teachers that inspire us to continue pursuing our passions. Knowing this, being able to become that mentor figure and provide the education we value so highly for these students is like a full-circle moment for us.

Julia Fang

We’re excited to see what the future holds for the Concordia Stepping Stones team and where this passion for mentoring younger students will take them. As for us, we will remember our enlightening experience at Stepping Stones and take that joy of learning with us to college and beyond. The impact that we have made as volunteers and student leaders is something we will never forget.

Sophia Xin & Julia Fang