Julius Yan wears many hats as he spends his days volunteering at the Agincourt Community Services Association as a translator, English teacher and housing worker assistant to help new immigrants.
“I immensely enjoy the opportunities to mingle with the members of our society especially at the very root level and become useful by helping out the groups and individuals in need.”
As a Mandarin, Cantonese, and Pioneer Chinese dialect translator, Julius helps newcomers apply for jobs, file for subsidized housing and interprets community safety and other workshops.
Although he spends most of time helping others in the Scarborough community, there was a time where Julius needed help. After his dad died at a young age Julius took on the responsibility to provide for his family, but he didn’t see that as a burden.
“The circumstance of being poor was considered an opportunity back then, as it provided me a chance to leave Hong Kong and work in Bermuda at a minor age,” Julius says.
After working in Bermuda, Julius immigrated to Canada and initially called Newfoundland home. It was only after he got married that he moved to Scarborough.
Just as his life was slowly changing for the better, Julius found himself in the position to give back and began volunteering to change the lives of other community members.
“Helping others is a true source of happiness as well as a means of personal fulfilment, satisfaction, enrichment and growth. I truly believe givers always benefit more than receivers.”