May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. To celebrate, we are sharing stories about SRP employees making unique contributions to our community.
When Jennifer Yang took a job at SRP, she also took on a cause.
“I like to help the community,” said Yang, a Senior IT Systems Analyst. “When I joined SRP, my first volunteer opportunity was with the Heart Walk. I thought it would be a great way to get to know people at SRP as well as fundraise.”
She enjoyed it so thoroughly that she later became a team captain herself, raising money in droves for the effort.
“I was inspired by a lot of SRP folks and their stories,” she said.
Succeeding through hard work, growth mindset
Yang’s own story is impressive. A native of Xian, China, she graduated with a master’s degree in physics from Cal State Northridge. Later, she learned software engineering to support a team she was part of at the time.
She has a growth mindset about the seemingly challenging experience. She said that it “wasn’t really all that different from physics anyway.”
We’ll take her word for that.
Making a difference at work and in her community
Turns out Yang’s commitment to the Heart Walk was just one element of her work in the community.
In early 2020, Yang helped support the Wuhan community during its initial large-scale coronavirus outbreak, sending much-needed donations to the area.
Of course, Yang and her colleagues never could have imagined the impact the outbreak would have on the U.S. just a few weeks later. When it hit U.S. shores, they again sprang into action.
“By the end of June, we raised more than $13,000 and made over 30 deliveries of funds, face masks and sanitary supplies to local healthcare workers, Phoenix Police, Mesa Police, Chandler Police and Gilbert Police, as well as some senior homes,” said Yang.
Yang and her group continued those volunteer efforts during the vaccine rollout.
“Through Dignity Health, we donated hundreds of hot lunches to COVID vaccine distribution volunteers at Chandler Gilbert Community College,” she explained.
An ongoing commitment to others
Her commitment doesn’t stop there.
Last year, for example, Yang worked with the Gilbert Library to host an event helping educate people in that city about Valley Fever, a disease which she works hard to build awareness about. Later, and following the shutdown of in-person events, she held an online webinar for students after two Chinese students in Arizona passed away from the disease.
In addition, she was involved in organizing a Stop Anti-Asian Hate rally in front of the Arizona State Legislature on March 27.
Despite being active in her community during the pandemic, Yang is ready for things to go back to normal. And, she wants to get back to being around the people she works so hard to support with her efforts.
“Due to safety concerns, I did not go out as much [this year]. I really enjoyed working from home, though I wish I could see my co-workers and friends soon,” she said.