Paul Yuen 袁煥森 was born in Hong Kong and as a child heard about WWII in Asia from parents and grandparents. In and soon after college in the early 1970s, he traveled extensively, mostly backpacking, in East Asia, China, S.E. Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Europe before becoming a youth worker in a low-income community. In 1979, he conducted policy research on the settlement of Vietnamese refugees in Vancouver during his practicum at S.U.C.C.E.S.S. as part of a Master of Social Work program. He was later CEO of the Hong Kong Student Aid Society and Head of the Social Work Department of Hong Kong Shue Yan College before immigrating to Canada in 1988. He cofounded Bodwell High School with his wife Cathy in 1991 and has been CEO. It is a boarding school in North Vancouver with mostly international students.