Youth Central’s 2nd Alumni Profile: Jane Wu

Youth Central’s 2nd Alumni Profile: Jane Wu

As we go through all of our amazing alumni, we realize how lucky we are to be blessed with so many wonderful people. Our next alumnus is Jane Wu who volunteered with Youth Central from 2003 – 2008.

Jane got involved with Youth Central through the Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC). Her first volunteer experience was helping out at a fundraiser race, which was “the first of many wonderful experiences.”

Jane took advantage of the different programs Youth Central offers and was a part of the YVC, Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC), and Calgary Youth Foundation (CYF). In 2007, CYF provided her with a grant to launch a career-oriented conference for young women in Calgary.

“Youth Central provided me with opportunities to try many ‘hats’ through its volunteering and leadership programs,” Jane writes.  “That has translated into a zigzag career path that I hope will one day translate into positive impact, I feel very fortunate.”

Since leaving Youth Central, Jane has kept herself busy. She completed her undergraduate degree at Queen’s University in the Commerce program and the Environmental Studies program.

“I tried my hand at launching a start-up (through the Next 36 program), worked in venture capital,” Jane writes. “I am now studying for a Ph.D. in the economics of innovation at MIT.”

Jane’s experience volunteering with Youth Central was “immensely valuable” and she remembers the organization with “fond memories and gratitude.”                   

“Youth Central played a formative role in my teen years – it built my confidence and shaped my character by exposing me to new people, new communities, and new ideas.

“That’s the genius of this organization, it doesn’t matter if you are a fifth generation Calgarian, a new immigrant, or somewhere in between, Youth Central gives us all the opportunity to connect with other Calgarians of different backgrounds and opinions, and build roots in this city … it gives all who participate the chance to plug into the community and feel like a proud and true Calgarian.”

While Jane doesn’t feel quite qualified to give advice, she does have a great piece to offer.

“I would encourage current volunteers to think big … there are many pressing issues we face as a society that would benefit from fresh eyes and a youth voice.

“For lack of a better analogy, Youth Central is like a trampoline. The distance and direction of where you go with that trampoline is up to you.”