by Steven Dugan
Homestead volunteer Cecilia Leung is featured in this month’s Staff Spotlight. Cecilia joined the volunteer staff in 2018 and quickly got involved helping to decorate and paint rocks that are hidden around the museum grounds for visitors to discover at select programs. Next, she began helping at a variety of special events, including our popular Victorian Fair. Over the last few months she has taken on even more as she assisted with Chinese translations for our new introductory video (that will roll out later this month!) and began docent training.
Tell us about your first visit to the museum and why you wanted to volunteer?
The first time I visited the Homestead Museum was for a La Casa Nueva tour. From the introduction video to the actual tour, I was fascinated by an original historic site so close to home. I believe [in the adage] that history repeats itself from time to time. We learn from history to plan a better future. It is pleasing to me to share that knowledge with others.
You helped us provide captions in traditional Chinese for our new introductory video. What was the most challenging part of that task?
English and Chinese are completely different languages. We cannot translate word for word. A lot of times, we needed to rewrite sentences in the original Chinese because the wording may not be in the same order. One example is the order of someone’s name. For example, in Chinese the family name comes first, in English the family name is last.
What have been your favorite events at the museum so far?
So far my favorite events at the Homestead are the Victorian Fair and our family picnics. It’s a time where everyone comes together to celebrate.
You recently began docent training. What have you enjoyed learning about the most so far?
I’ve really enjoyed the training, especially our trainers, Gennie Truelock and Jennifer Scerra. They are terrific teachers. They are very understanding and encouraging; and have helped me overcome my fear of public speaking.
You have worked in the past with the public, what do you like best about engaging with people?
After I retired, I began volunteering at the Steinmetz Senior Center and Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier. I love to talk to different people and share their stories.
When you’re not giving your time at the Homestead, what are some of your other hobbies?
I share my time with three other places when I’m not at the museum: the senior center, the hospital, and my church. I view my ability to volunteer as one of God’s blessings to me. Not only do I help others, but helping them helps me a lot too.