Helen, her husband Terry and three adult children were all born and raised in Calgary—they are true “Calgarians.” Helen’s parents immigrated to Canada after WWII. Growing up, she and her brother experienced first hand what it was like to live in a home with parents learning to speak, read and write in a new language.
Helen’s first experience with an ESL Program was in the faith community when she was asked to oversee their ESL program. With volunteer management in her background, she began recruiting and training teachers through CESLM. ESL classes ran on Tuesday evenings, Thursday mornings and in a Sunday School class prior to the service to review the sermon. Included in the program was Life Skills sessions, as well as special events like Christmas, Chinese New Year and other holidays. A Friday evening ESL care group was set up to study the Bible. For those who could not speak any English, they set up one-on-one tutoring. Today, under the new leadership, the program continues at Hawkwood Baptist Church in Calgary. This is an exciting, wonderful ministry offered to newcomers who come to learn English.
With a Cardiology Technology diploma, management certificate from the University of Calgary and experience working in Foundation and Volunteer Resources departments, Helen has the experience to fulfill her role as CESLM’s Volunteer Coordinator.
Helen enjoys travelling with her husband and being a Nana to her grandchildren. A special Bible verse she likes, because her name means “light,” is Matthew 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”