Hi my name is Amanda Yeung and this is #MyCanada story.
I was born and raised in Mississauga but when I was younger my family and I would drive downtown to go to Chinatown to see a Chinese herbal doctor. We would always exit the QEW at Spadina and at the stop light there would always be homeless people asking for money or food. I was 8 years old when I first packed a juice box and a granola bar in my bag and when we arrived to that exit one day I asked my parents if I could give my juice box and granola to the man by rolling my window down. But my parents being parents said no - scared of what could happen, that was a tug in my heart for quite a few years.
Fast forward to high school I had the opportunity to do sandwich runs and fulfilling a dream of mine - to interact and talk to the homeless as another human being as you and I. No one wants to be homeless and society has that stigma that they want to be on the streets or hopeless. Life sometimes just goes wrong and we have absolutely no control over it. I also went on a volunteer trip three years ago to Peru and honestly - I learned a lot. We were helping build orphanages, working with and playing with children and meeting their parents - this was in a garbage dump community. Meaning their parents worked in the garbage dump while they stayed outside - a more recent regulation that had occurred. We went in the garbage dump and met the parents, it was really eye opening because being born in Canada we don't know where our garbage goes to.
One little girl that I played with named Angie stuck with me throughout the day. She reminded and taught me to cherish the simple things in life, I don't need the most glamorous apparel or gadgets to be happy. To cherish friends and family. I've always loved working with children and it broke my heart when we were leaving when she asked me if I was coming back to visit on Saturday. With the help of my translator I told her I wasn't - it tore my heart to pieces. I still remember the emotions I felt on that day three years ago. For the first few months and the next year after I left I really wished I moved down to Trujillo, Peru to help - abandoning my safe bubble environment in Toronto. But, realistically in grade 11/12 I had to finish school. I hope to visit and support the organization I was working with once again.
As another human being, I would like to be able to change - whether create little or big changes in the future - through the arts and design and collaborate with other creatives through fashion, graphic design, photography and other talents others may have to create a community - just like you do at Peace Collective.
Passion to me is chasing the ambitions whatever it may be that makes you breathe, what inspires you to wake up in the morning - with the mindset to achieve greater, for you to continuously strive to be better. It makes you - you. It may or may not be one passion it can be several depending on the individual, it can change over time as we are humans continuously evolving.
Doing things that I am enduringly in love with, even if it means to step out of my comfort zone - to be different. It may not be a straight forward, smooth like butter path but if I put my heart, soul and mind into it I would be one step closer to chasing my passion and letting go of self-doubt of not being good enough and taking a step and just give it a try. There is a possibility of achieving greater, and having a meaningful life.