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Name: Yan Chen

Title: Financial Analyst

Location: HQ-Little Rock, Arkansas

How long have you worked for Heifer? Since August 2010

What attracted you to work for Heifer? Heifer's mission attracted me here. That I'm able to apply my expertise to Heifer's work makes it exciting and fulfilling for me. I've seen hunger and poverty in real life. Some of my first grade classmates went to school with bare feet. They had only steamed buns, pumpkins, or yams for lunch for weeks, nothing else. Meat was a luxury that they only had several times a year. That was about 30 years ago when we could pay for life's necessities because both my parents worked full-time. But, many others weren't so lucky. They were as capable as people who don't have to suffer hunger and poverty, if given equal opportunities of education, training and resources. Passing on the Gift®, which leads the 12 Cornerstones, increases the capability of people who have been given to be able to become people who give.

What has been the most memorable experience you have had while working for Heifer? A site visit would be most memorable, if I had the chance to go. I was deeply touched by the video showing how Nepal women formed self-help groups and some of them learned how to read and write. I have relatives in rural China who are illiterate today. Before marriage, their life depends on parents, and after marriage, their life depends on husbands. When they get old, they depend on their children. They don't live, but follow. Heifer projects can lift women in nearly feudal communities to be more self-reliant. That's a profound impact.

Other memorable moments include when my parents went to Heifer Ranch to clean up the tornado mess this summer, and my family's visit at Heifer Ranch during one of the warm winter days.

My education includes: I majored in International Business Law at college and obtained a Master's degree in Accountancy at the University of Central Arkansas in 2010. I passed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in 2011, and now I'm a licensed CPA in Arkansas!

My hobbies include: I enjoy hiking, painting, gardening, cooking, cards, knitting, sewing and Do It Yourself projects that require patience and details.

My family consists of: my husband Darwin, my son Ethan, and we are expecting a baby in July 2012

Something about me that you might not know:
*I ran a half marathon in October 2005 in Beijing. It almost killed me. I made up my mind not to do it again when I was walking the second 7 miles.
*I want to improve my public speaking, so I started Toastmasters in 2012.
*I have beat the house playing Blackjack in casinos and on a cruise.

What is the best thing about working at Heifer HQ?
Heifer is a good place to achieve life-work balance.


Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and started working at Heifer International in 2009 as a writer. She and her husband raise two daughters in a house way too small for their four pets. They spend a lot of time sweeping.