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Receive and give back

Inspired by donor generosity, student award recipient Christina Shan volunteers to make life better for others

August 30, 2013

Receive and give back
Christina Shan knows what generosity feels like. Having received a student award, she gives back by volunteering with a small charity that supports low-income families.

Look at Christina Shan’s schedule and you may wonder how she can afford the time to volunteer.

But between her demanding studies at the Faculty of Science and Ivey Business School, this Western student still finds energy to help those in need.

With a group of students through the Community Service Learning Network at Western, Christina is creating proposals for a London-based charity (LIFE*SPIN) to receive funds to install solar panels and thermo windows for low-income families living in subsidized housing.

“If we’re successful, the funding will help reduce energy costs for families and make life a little easier for them,” she says. “We’re also looking into selling the excess electricity produced by the solar panels to fund even more services for families.”

Her commitment to making life better for others is part of Christina’s passion to give back. A recipient of the Sydenham Hall – Jean Dunlop Residence Bursary, Christina has also served as a student residence volunteer (soph), helping first-year students adjust to university life.

“I really enjoyed seeing new students succeed and grow as they transition to Western,” says the dual degree student in computer science and business. “And working with many different people and personalities, I gained confidence and leadership skills I wouldn’t have learned in the classroom.”

What she’s learning through her Western Experience makes Christina grateful for her student award – a bursary created by Western alumni to support students who live in residence and to honour Jean Dunlop, the long-time secretary at Sydenham Hall.

“This award shows that the Western student experience comes full circle, with alumni giving back so students like me can achieve their goals,” says Christina, who plans to pursue a business career in the technology sector.

“I’m inspired by the vision and generosity of the donors who made the award possible,” she adds. “One day I want to give back to Western so that more students can learn and make a difference in the community.”

By all accounts, Christina is already doing just that.

This article appeared in the 2013 edition of Annual Impact
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