Anna Jee: Creating cultural connections

Anna Jee, 2Life volunteer, with two residents

Anna Jee, a Boston College senior majoring in biology and philosophy, volunteered at 2Life because she was looking for a way to connect with her Korean identity and culture. Today, she leads a weekly group for Korean-speaking residents at the Brighton and Golda Meir campuses.

Like many new volunteers, Anna was initially intimidated by the generation gap and the fact that she had never led a group before. Those concerns quickly dissipated.

“As a group, we discovered things that we enjoy doing together, which has opened the door for us to get to know one another as individuals,” she says. “Age doesn’t matter, and I look forward to my volunteer time each week. It has been a beautiful experience.” 

Anna loves hearing residents’ stories about their lives, including their immigration experiences and time spent in Korea. Listening to residents has helped her feel more connected to her culture and community. One of Anna’s favorite moments was receiving a homemade package of kimchi from one of the residents.

“In Korean culture, food is an important way to express love and caring. Receiving the kimchi was an incredibly heartwarming moment because I understood the meaning behind it. I felt a sense of mutual appreciation and gratitude,” says Anna. “And it was the best kimchi I’ve ever had in my life!”

Anna says her volunteer experience at 2Life has been transformative, and she treasures the genuine friendships she has formed with residents. She advises prospective volunteers not to be afraid to leap into the unknown, because any experience in life will be meaningful when we focus on having a positive impact on the lives of others.

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