News & Stories

ONFE Volunteers in Education Spotlight: Susan Fuentes

Our third 2022 volunteer spotlight features Susan Fuentes! Read on to learn more about Susan and why she decided to volunteer in our Volunteers in Education program.

Quote about Susan:

“She has worked with my class throughout the pandemic. She is consistent, reliable, cheerful and the students really enjoy working with her. For all of last year, she volunteered every day, and that was such a great support to both me and the students.” — Teacher at Gloucester HS  

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a mother/stepmother of five wonderful adult children and a grandmother to eight. I was born in Orillia, Ontario and have lived in Ottawa since 1968.  

2. What made you decide to volunteer with the Volunteers in Education Program?

Since retiring in July 2016, I had volunteered with seniors in a long-term care facility since the fall of 2016 and through the 2019-2020 school year at my grandsons’ school until March 2020 when the pandemic began. I wanted to continue volunteering and ONFE had opportunities to do so virtually.   

3. Who was your favourite teacher and why?

Many of my teachers through grade school and high school were favourites, because of the time they took to understand students’ needs and encourage them.

4. What is your personal philosophy on life?  

I believe that we make our own way in life and are responsible for treating others around us with dignity and respect. When raising my children, I told them that they could do and be anything they wanted. My goal was for them to be productive members of society. I am proud of the wonderful people they are. 

5. What is your favorite hidden gem in Ottawa?

 Andrew Hayden Park is a beautiful place, for family walks, time with children and grandchildren. 

6. Tell us about a lesson you learned this year. What did it teach you about yourself?

Over the past two years of the pandemic,  I learned that appreciating those around us is important to our health and to theirs. I also found ways to stay in touch with people who are important to me even though we could not physically see each other. 

If you are interested in volunteering with ONFE’s Volunteers in Education, please visit our program page.

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