Women Making History in Nature: Yenny Yao

April 10, 2024

Women Making History in Nature: Yenny Yao

Yenny Yao's journey with Kamloops Immigrant Services (KIS) began in 2016 as a client. New to Canada, she enrolled in English classes and quickly became a volunteer with KIS. In November 2018, Yenny started working as a contractor for the Community Connection Program, and that’s when her love of nature really took off.
Yenny pours her heart, passion, and skills into her work, considering it a great privilege to assist newcomers in settling and finding their place in a new country.
"I love integrating my interests and hobbies into my work, particularly my love for nature, which has brought immense power and positive energy to my life and work."

The first winter in Kamloops posed challenges for Yenny—lack of driving skills, money for gear, and knowledge about parks and trails hampered her ability to get outside. However, with support from KIS volunteers and friends, she gained experience and skills over time. Now equipped with winter gear and outdoor skills, Yenny has transformed her winter experience from daunting to joyous.

Recognizing that many clients face similar winter challenges, Yenny is driven to break down barriers and introduce newcomers to the joys of nature, especially in winter. Collaborating with community partners, team members, and leveraging grants and resources, she develops new programs and services for newcomers, including camping, paddling, hiking, fishing, and cross-country skiing.
"I'm grateful for the supportive community that welcomes newcomers to Canada, helping them settle in this beautiful country they can now call home."
"A special thanks to the BC Parks Foundation for enabling us to offer snowshoeing and ski programs to our clients. Realizing my dream of sharing these essential skills to enrich their lives fills me with fulfillment and reward."

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