During the pandemic, I worked as the program assistant at Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC)’s Financial Wellness Program, and I acted as a translator between English speakers and non-English speakers to connect the bridge between resources available and people in need. For example, I helped small Asian business owners to overcome the lack of technological literacy, language barriers, lack of confidence that keep them from utilizing opportunities to revitalize their business, which broadened my horizon in seeing how financial knowledge affects the real world. I researched on the different resources available with my manager’s guidance, including unemployment compensation (UC), rental assistance programs, relief funds, and small business loans, and facilitated weekly information sessions and designed bilingual flyers to share resources to support families and business owners to get through the difficult time. I directed eligible community members to PCDC’s support department to apply for assistance programs, UC, outdoor dining licenses, and healthcare insurance to fortify the community’s financial stability. It is very fulfilling when I realize that I can bring concrete values to help the community. The gratification fosters my interest in becoming better in the financial language, to understand and leverage resources that benefit people who are in most need.
I was also very fortunate to have the opportunity to be involved with Asian Women Wellness Day, to empower mental wellbeing in a community that was being targeted and discriminated against during COVID-19. I collaborated with Philly Solidarity and Armed Against Hate to host a workshop on how to use pepper spray correctly and empower women through self-defense. I had a lot of fun and I am very proud that I could be part of the effort in educating the AAPI community to feel comfortable within their own skin, and feel safe instead of feeling ashamed about their identity.