LISA XIE – WOMEN EMPOWERMENT BY PAYING FORWARD

Lisa is a first-generation immigrant from China. At 10, she followed her family and moved to Canada. As new immigrants, her family, particularly her brother and her, received tremendous support from the community. That’s how the pay-it-forward mentality grew in her.

BY J.M.LEE

Lisa is a first-generation immigrant from China. At 10, she followed her family and moved to Canada. As new immigrants, her family, particularly her brother and her, received tremendous support from the community. That’s how the pay-it-forward mentality grew in her.

“As my family continues to live in the South Surrey-White Rock community, we become more integrated as Canadians. Thus, we became more involved with our community,” Lisa relates.

At 18, Lisa brought the issue of educational equality and anti-bullying to the national stage during her pageant with Miss World Canada. She became the youngest delegate to win the “Beauty with a Purpose” and “People’s Choice” awards. Since 2019, she has been involved with the United Nations through UNESCO and Young UN. She engaged in building a UN mentorship program and worked to support the education of the UN Sustainable Development Goal.

“During COVID-19, my brother and I founded Community in You(th). It is a local initiative to empower youth to build a better sense of community in Surrey and White Rock,” she said proudly. “The team initiated various projects, including building a Virtual Reality tour of White Rock. It showcased artwork and interview pieces, painting the ‘Lifting Hands’ mural on a 14X44-foot concrete canvas adjacent to Peace Arch Hospital and paying tribute to healthcare and essential workers.”

Lisa is always asked what made her undertake bold actions. Thinking deeply, she managed to connect the dots. She had been blessed to be surrounded by mentors that believed in women’s empowerment.

“My grandma was one of the first women to become a doctor in China. My mother showed my brother and me her courageous self and persistence through her community leadership and total commitment,” she notes.

Last year, Lisa’s mother was one of Option’s first cohort of the 2021 50 Women of Options. She was involved in the Building Hope project, helping to build 100 units of mixed-income housing at King George and 81st Avenue in Surrey. Of these 100 units, 30 will be market rentals. At the same time, the remaining 70 will be well below market rates —designated as affordable housing, with rent starting as low as $375 per month.

“Following my mom’s footsteps and continuing my passion for youth and education, I am one of fifty women in Women of Options 2022: Gamechangers. I will be part of 50 local women coming together and committing to raise $25,000 each for a youth discretionary fund. Alongside an empowered team of women from senior executives, impressive volunteers, celebrities, and leaders in our communities—we commit to raising $1.5 million for youth projects supporting youths falling through the cracks,” Lisa affirms.

To read more about Lisa’s involvement in Options, and if you want to support her fundraising goal, please visit the link: https://womenofoptions.ca/

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