In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a month which recognizes the innumerable contributions, vibrant cultures, and rich heritage of Asian Americans (AA), Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI), we interviewed Wesley Housing resident Ms. E of The Fallstead in McLean, VA.
Ms. E was born in Taiwan and came to the United States at 21 years old. Speaking fluent Taiwanese, Japanese, Chinese, and English, Ms. E is a valued resource and trusted neighbor for the diverse residents who live at The Fallstead.
As some of the fastest-growing racial and ethnic groups in the nation, AA and NHPI communities represent a multitude of ethnicities, languages, and experiences that enrich our communities. The Fallstead is home to 97 residents, 34% of whom are Asian/Pacific Islander. Wesley Housing prides itself on building communities where every resident — regardless of who they are, where they come from, or what they look like — has an equal opportunity to thrive. We are grateful for residents like Ms. E who help us live out our commitment to provide diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities.
As a registered nurse, former day care owner, and nurturer at heart, Ms. E. prides herself on taking care of her fellow neighbors. During the pandemic, Ms. E called on and knocked on the doors of those living in her community to check on their mental and physical health during isolation. Today, she continues to help her neighbors take their blood pressure when they aren’t feeling well. Ms. E now spends her time volunteering at nearby Pimmit Hills Senior Center.
Throughout her time living at The Fallstead (nearly three years), she has cultivated an environment where English-speaking and Chinese-speaking residents can come together and interact with the help of her translation and coaching. In addition, she has spearheaded the translation of the monthly community newsletter, allowing 14 residents access in their native language. Ms. E is very involved in her community and enjoys on-site programming such as Tai Chi on Mondays and Wednesdays.