Outreach: Mei Fung
Outreach showcases members of Central Austin Toastmasters who apply their skills in communication and leadership to help communities in Austin. It also gives them a moment to reflect on how far along they have journeyed through Toastmasters.
Today we meet Mei Fung, who works with the Asian Family Support Services at Austin (AFSSA).
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I have lived in Austin for 9 years and received my Bachelors and Masters at UT Austin. I am a 1.5 generation Chinese-American.
2. Tell us a bit about your organization. What made you decide to help them?
Asian Family Support Services of Austin (AFSSA) is the only nonprofit organization in Central Austin that works with survivors of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and trafficking in Asian communities. All survivors are welcome for our services.
I am passionate about working for Asian communities and pursuing a career in social work. My family and friends were really supportive. Most Chinese parents may suggest pursuing engineering. Not mine.
3. How do you use communication and leadership skills? How has Toastmasters helped?
I represent my agency (become the public face) and meet with community leaders to discuss their needs. When I give workshops and presentations to college students, refugees, and immigrants, I like to ask the attendees what they want to talk about and facilitate discussions.
Toastmasters has helped me feel comfortable with speaking to all types of audience. Pace is something that I watch out for, since not everyone can understand English quickly. I also like to seek feedback after my presentations.
4. Tell me about a person who has surprised you the most.
Haha, can I say myself? I really didn't learn to speak English well until I was 15 years old in high school. Simple things like "Where is the bathroom?" I was surprised by the pace at which I improved to speak.
If I were to give advice to fellow non-native speakers, it would be this: Be always open to everything. Don't be shy in engaging with native speakers. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
5. Fill in the blanks!
Helping people brings happiness to my life, because I want people to feel happiness.
In one year, I want to be someone who truly feels happiness without relying on material possessions.
6. What are some good ways for a person to help your organization? How can they reach you?
You can sign up to be a volunteer with my Community Outreach Team. We provide gardening classes for parents, community events (need help with setting up booths and providing information), and 24-7 hotline service (in shifts).
Please don't be a bystander. If you see abuse, help report it.
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