Stepping Stones is a volunteering organisation that attracts committed volunteers from all over the world to help in the education of under-privileged children in China. While our volunteers are in the front-lines carrying out the English teaching, the Stepping Stones team does its best to coordinate the volunteering programs throughout Shanghai and in rural areas, conduct other educational and welfare activities for children, and provide support to our volunteers.
Meet the Stepping Stones Team!
Corinne Richeux Hua is the Founder and Executive Director of Stepping Stones. Corinne is half British and half French, and graduated in Chinese studies from Cambridge University in 1990. Since moving to Shanghai with her husband in 1993, Corinne has worked in the Commercial Section of the British Consulate General and as H.R. Senior Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and has had two children. Corinne has been working in the non-profit sector in Shanghai since 2005.
“When I first visited some migrant schools in Shanghai in 2006 and asked the Principals what help they needed, they all asked me to help them to teach English to their students. I already knew a lot of English speakers in Shanghai who were looking for a meaningful way to help others. Stepping Stones emerged as a neat way to bridge a need in our local community with a valuable resource.
“I’ve always been passionate about social service, volunteering, education and cultural exchange, and I derive inspiration each day from the amazing people that Stepping Stones brings together from all walks of life in Shanghai.”
Sebastien is the Program Director of Stepping Stones, responsible for Stepping Stones' Corporate Projects and I Care Program, as well as coordinating and managing the organisation's research activities. He also responds to external requests for information on migrant situation in China.
Sebastien holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Montreal (Canada) specialised in Chinese society, migration studies, ethnicity, and socio-economic development. He has written articles and given several presentations focused on China’s minorities and migrant workers. He recently contributed to the East Asia Forum Quarterly and published a chapter in a book titled Regional Minorities and Development in East and Southeast Asia.
Gloria Han joined Stepping Stones in February 2012 as Project Coordinator. Gloria is responsible for managing the I Care Project, as well as assisting with Corporate Events.
Gloria is from Hefei in Anhui Province, and graduated from the Advanced Polytechnical College of Shanghai University, majoring in Tourism. Gloria started her career by working in the hospitality industry for over 2 years. Prior to her current work in the non-profit sector, she worked in a public relations agency for nearly 5 years.
“I first joined Stepping Stones in November 2011 as a volunteer. Being a volunteer allowed me to contribute myself in a meaningful way to the education of under-privileged children. As a mother, I know how important education is to a child. I feel very proud to be part of an organization that not only helps others, but also allows me to be a good role-model to my daughter.”
Wangcui is Stepping Stones’ Communications Manager. Her main role is to develop fundraising capacity and manage Stepping Stones’ relationships with local government, companies, and project partners including other non-profits, schools and community centres.
Wangcui started her non-profit career with Save the Children China, responsible for a few education projects including a School Health & Nutrition project and a Basic Education project. In 2012, she moved to Singapore with her family and continued her social work in ASEAN countries. She was then the Country Program Manager for Vietnam and China in a Singapore local non-profit called Mercy Relief. Wangcui is very committed to humanitarian work and has been dispatched to disaster-prone areas in the Philippines, China, Vietnam and Lao PDR.
"As a humanitarian worker, I’ve witnessed a lot of tragedies, of elderly and of children. Almost five years NGO working experiences taught me how to see problems, poverty and inequity from different angles of view. Now I am a new mother and a migrant living in Shanghai, I do hope our team could do what we can to improve education and social welfare for migrant children here and contribute to educational equality."
Sherry, a Shanghai native, is responsible for managing Stepping Stones' Videolink and Tutoring Programs, as well as coordinating the logistics and local communications for our Rural Tours. Before joining Stepping Stones, she worked as an IT support engineer for over 8 years. She started her volunteering career at a community hospital assisting the elderly.
“One of my friends mentioned Stepping Stones by chance. While researching their organization, I was touched by the work they did and noticed there was an open position. I applied and was accepted for the job. I am deeply convinced that there is more happiness in giving than receiving. This is an idea I would like to spread to others, especially my young daughter."
Morgan Banaszek is Stepping Stones' Volunteer Manager with responsibility for conducting Orientation and Training sessions for the English teaching volunteers. She provides teaching advice, resources and occasional on-site support at the various English teaching sites. Her other role is to plan and manage the rural volunteering tours.
While studying for her Masters in Contemporary Chinese Studies, Morgan became aware of the need for social work specifically focusing on the migrant community. After moving to Shanghai at the end of the summer in 2014, and hearing about Stepping Stones from both her university and friend, she applied for the job of coordinator and has been working at Stepping Stones ever since. Morgan has a passion for all things China and enjoys discussing current Chinese issues.
Ross volunteered as a trainer for Stepping Stones for four years while working for English First in Shanghai. He has worked in the ESL/EFL industry for over fifteen years, as a teacher, Senior Teacher, Director of Studies and materials developer. Ross is qualified to DELTA level, and is enrolled in a distance-learning Master's course in Linguistics and TESOL.
Ross is responsible for Stepping Stones' Teacher Training Program, as well as overall responsible for the Training and Curriculum Development for all of Stepping Stones' English Teaching Programs.
“I was looking for a new challenge in my field, interested in developing my skills in teacher training, and also wanted to use my skills to accomplish some good in the world; therefore, I was very excited to take up this new position at Stepping Stones."
Dóra Havassy joined Stepping Stones in June 2016 as office volunteer. Dóra is responsible for HR, including intern and staff recruitment and staff development. She holds an M.A. degree in Oriental (Chinese) Studies as well as Far-Eastern Intercultural Communication.
“From my early childhood I was interested in China and the Chinese culture. What was a distant and slightly lunatic dream in a little Hungarian village of the ‘70s, became true in the early 90’s, when I first came to Shanghai as a student. Since than I end up here every decade: from 2004 I worked in Shanghai 5 years and now I came back as a mother. Grown up in a financially moderate family, I know from my own experience, that the only way to a better life is through learning. It is very much unfair if someone is deprived of the access to proper education. That’s why I chose Stepping Stones for volunteering."
Classroom Teaching Program Coordinator
Sally Wangsawijaya is the Program Coordinator for Stepping Stones’ Classroom Teaching Program (CTP). Her responsibility includes managing, recruiting and allocating volunteers to the teaching sites and ensuring a smooth operation of the CTP program; offering on-site support to volunteers and assisting in the monitoring and evaluation work of the program.
Sally is Indonesian, and has lived in Malaysia, Singapore and Australia before. She started her non-profit career in Malaysia as an Advocacy Officer, Social Worker and Case Supervisor for a domestic violence shelter. She was also a regular volunteer for a suicide prevention crisis call hotline in Malaysia. Prior to her non-profit work, she was working in the Public Relations and Corporate Communication field. Sally graduated with a Bachelor of Communications from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia.
“I started volunteering with Stepping Stones within the first week of arriving in Shanghai, and stayed on as a volunteer two semesters after. I enjoyed the experience tremendously and felt that Stepping Stones has made a positive impact to the migrant communities that it serves. Volunteering with Stepping Stones has opened my eyes to the challenges faced by the migrant children in Shanghai. I am excited to be part of the Stepping Stones’ team and contribute towards the betterment of migrant community here.”
Eva Hua is Stepping Stones' Finance Manager.
Eva participated in various volunteer activities before being a member of Stepping Stones. With knowledge of non-profit organizations, she devotes herself to working with caring volunteers and friends who are willing to help others.
Eva grew up in Shanghai and graduated from Shanghai University (SILC), majoring in International Economics and Trade. She earned financial experience working for the Bank of China.
“Wherever I go, I have always been keen on getting involved in social volunteering programmes. It’s my great honour and pleasure to contribute to the future of children and of my hometown, Shanghai, by being part of the Stepping Stones team."
“I first learned about Stepping Stones when I attended a talk given by the Director Corinne Hua. I was deeply touched to hear that Stepping Stones exerts its best effort to improve the education of migrant children in China. I love to devote myself to this meaningful programme and I enjoy facing the challenges we are facing. Stepping Stones volunteers impressed me with their passion and creative thinking Their ideas inspire the whole team and encourage children to learn in an innovative way.”
Xiaolan Gao is Stepping Stones' Program Officer, responsible for liaison with our local schools and community centers.
Xiaolan, a Shanghai Native, graduated from Shanghai International Studies University, majoring in accounting. She has been doing accounting and administrative jobs for over 10 years. Meanwhile, she has taught English part time since university. Xiaolan participated in various volunteer work before joining Stepping Stones. Being a member of Stepping Stones, she believes she can do more for the others.
Teddy is the Computer Teacher in our Computer Teaching Program "Stepping Up", responsible for planning the annual student curriculum and lessons to teach computer and life skills to Stepping Stones’ middle school students.
Teddy, a Shanghai Native, graduated from Shanghai Sanda University, majoring in E-Commerce. He participated in various volunteer work before joining Stepping Stones, and he loves children very much.
“I first joined Stepping Stones in May 8, 2016 as a volunteer. Being a photographer for Stepping Stones' 10 years anniversary reinforced for me how important education is in changing children’s lives. And it was the best anniversary party I have ever seen in my life. I discovered a lot of interesting projects, other non-profit organisations and dedicated people in this anniversary party, and the smiles of children were just like angels. I decided then to change my career to be a full time teacher, as I always dreamt when I was a child. I hope Teacher Teddy can bring love and joy to these children in the future."
I joined Stepping Stones as a computer teacher in July 2017. I believe that humans cannot live without tools and we need to understand computers better. I hope to be an educator who can teach how to take care of the world, and to teach the next generation of young engineers critical thinking and computer logic language. I hope that the benefits of my educational work will have an impact on the future.
As the Chinese say: 十年树木,百年树人. Ten years to grow a tree, but a hundred years to raise a person.
Tutoring Program Officer
Rebecca is the Tutoring Program Officer of Stepping Stones. Her responsibility includes communicating with schools and community centers, offering support and training to the volunteers and assisting with monitoring and evaluation work. During the Summer, she works on the Summer Camps.
Rebecca has an MBA from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. She worked in Supply Chain management in multinational companies for over a decade before joining Stepping Stones. She started as a volunteer English teacher in Stepping Stones in 2015.
“I took the volunteer training for English teachers in 2015 and found Stepping Stones to be a very professional organisation. I always hoped to have the chance to work with Stepping Stones and do something meaningful. I am honoured to join this organisation as a staff member in July 2017.”
Finance and Legal Assistant
Kelly joined Stepping Stones as an intern in November 2016, then moved into the position of Finance and Legal Assistant at the beginning of 2017, and is now responsible for financial, HR and legal affairs.
Kelly is from Chongqing City, graduated from East China Normal University (ECNU) and Fudan University in Shanghai, majoring in Law. After completing her first job as a Deputy Procurator in Suzhou city, she obtained an accounting certificate and wanted to get more working experience in Finance. She also holds a Legal Professional Qualification Certificate.
“As a mother of a little boy, I believe every child has the right to education and development, I am happy if I can help to improve the quality of children’s education in China."