Carey Students LEAD the Way to Cultural Exploration

Jiaying Li
Jiaying Li

Jiaying (Grace) Li is an MS in Enterprise Risk Management candidate at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. She is the Vice President of Membership of Toastmasters JHU DC club, responsible for recruiting and connecting with members. She is passionate about communication and public speaking.

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If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

Jon Quincy Adams

As members of the LEAD Program in Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, my teammates and I are proud of inspiring nearly 50 Carey Business School students to become leaders at the volunteer China City Expo event at Potomac Elementary School.

April 22, 2016 was a big day for many Carey students because they became ambassadors of their beloved hometown and introduced those cities to lovely students at Potomac Elementary School. I couldn’t express how moved I was when I walked into the lobby of the Carey building in DC that morning, and saw 50 excited students (wearing the same red t-shirt) making final preparations before getting on the bus and heading to the school. If you were not one of them, I am sure you would have liked to be there if you knew how wonderful of an experience it was.

Volunteers were split into 20 groupsexhibiting 20 Chinese cities—and matched up with children from kindergarten to the 5th grade. Two groups combined into a big group when entering into our game session. From 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, our volunteers served 5 groups of 100 students, allowing 30 minutes for each session. When students walked in the gym, a passport with a map of China was distributed to them. They could visit any city that interested them and learn about the food, landscape, clothes, and of course, the history of that city. In the process, students not only received visual information about the cities, but they also tried food, played small games, and answered questions that volunteers prepared for them. This ensured that every child who participated got a sticker from the “ambassador.” Whenever they collected up to 6 stickers, and put them on the correct city locations of the map, they could get an additional prize from the reception desk of the China City Expo.

We knew our efforts paid off when we saw students writing down just how much they loved this event. After we heard students loudly and collectively say “谢谢你们!” (Thank you in Chinese), a cute child came over and gave us a big hug, asking “When will you come back?”

Don’t worry sweetie! We promise to come back next year! “China City Expo” has become an inclusive, impactful, engaging, sustainable event, and a tradition of Carey from that moment on.

China City Expo was the Capstone Project of our LEAD DC Team. It was our pleasure to collaborate with the Community Mentor Club, Career Development Office, 2U Delivery, and Potomac Elementary School. We could not have made it happen without your great support!

Many thanks to all of our volunteers who contributes their time, energy, and passion to this event. It is our honor to become leaders with you!

Looking forward to seeing more LEADers next year!

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