Rover of the Month: Amy Do

Written by Sandra Lee

My first impression of Amy was that she was not a quitter. I met Amy on a hike towards Elfin Lakes last year in August. This was her first camping trip ever. The trails in Whistler Park are not the most forgiving for beginner hikers, and the weather that weekend was actually the worst that summer would see. Nonetheless, she did not retreat to the cars. She carried that 20 pound backpack until she pulled a leg muscle.

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She’s “Amazing Amy” on our phones.

Amy has lived in Vancouver for about a year and had to jump through a lot of hurdles. Many of her problems came straight from the beginning of her move from Vietnam to Vancouver.

International students feel a lack of direction. I definitely didn’t know what to do when I first arrived. I had to start all over again with all of these problems that I had never dealt with before. I had all these bills to pay and I had to figure out what I wanted to do in the future. It’s a daunting task for international students, especially because of how lonely we are. We didn’t move here with our friends and family. There wasn’t really anyone who could give us advice. We have to do this by ourselves.

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Last year, I thought I felt accomplished because I did a lot of stuff. I worked 2 jobs at one time while enrolled in 5 classes. As crazy as that sounded, this is normal for international students because we want to get a job right away. Personally, I wanted a job because I wanted to make my own money and prove that I was an independent international student.

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But feeling independent was not my only motivation. I needed that money to pay for rent. At one point, I was only being paid $5 an hour as part of a training wage. Despite working almost everyday, I was still struggling with rent. There was another job where I was only being paid $7/hr without tips. I had only been in Vancouver for three months and had no working experience. It goes without saying, but it really wasn’t an easy time for me.

One thing that helped change her course was meeting (Rover) Barton Lui at school. He introduced her to us and now she’s one of our most engaged Rovers.

When I was still in high school back in Vietnam, I was never given the chance to lead in projects because opportunities were not provided to me from school. I got what I needed from being a Rover.

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The Crew advisors are always willing to answer my questions. I always feel very supported. This is something really special to me because prior to joining, I felt like a normal girl. There was nothing exceptional about me. Most importantly, I feel like I have potential. Since I joined, and after participating in so many projects and events, I realized my strengths and weaknesses. This is also largely thanks to my mentor, Pinky Au. It was easy for her to convince me that she genuinely wants to help me. We spent hours hammering out and reshaping my interests and goals by getting me to critically think about my future plans. I have a better idea of what I need to do to improve and become a better person. I don’t feel so average anymore.

She had just pulled off our Crew’s first Christmas masquerade party. It was her first time leading a project and it was a huge success!  

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One year ago, I didn’t know what I wanted to study. I had no particular interests until my cousin invited me to her wedding last summer. This was my first time at a foreign wedding and I totally fell in love with it!

I discovered that Vancouver Community College had an event management program that also specialized in weddings. I do not only learn about planning and the dynamic field, but I also learn about traditions from all around the world. I like to plan. I like to organize things. It makes me happy to do it. So, in the future, I want to be an event planner.  

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My first priority is school, second is the Rover Crew, and then it is work. It feels great to balance my school, scouting, and work to gain the valuable experiences I need.  I hope that international students like me would have a chance to discover Rovers and experience the things that I’ve experienced instead of working themselves crazy.

If international students could come to a Crew meeting, they might be able to see that there is so much more to life here than being a student and a part-time waitress.

 

 

Mostafa Nejati

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