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ONFE’s Volunteers in Education Spotlight: Therese Coady

ONFE is incredibly fortunate to have a diverse team of compassionate, caring volunteers who bring a range of backgrounds and skills to their respective roles supporting students and teachers within the OCDSB. We would like to introduce you to a volunteer who is passionate about helping enhance the literacy and language skills of the students she works with. We are pleased to introduce Therese Coady.  

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Hi, my name is Therese Coady. I have recently retired from the federal government. I am from the Ottawa Valley and I have lived here my whole life. I have travelled to other wonderful countries on other continents, but I love coming home to the Ottawa Valley! I have been married for over 30 years and I have two grown children: a daughter and a son. Luckily, they both still live close by and I am able to see them often!! We do not currently have any pets, but we did have beautiful German Shepherds for several years when my children were young.  

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

I have always enjoyed volunteering and I used to volunteer at my children’s primary school when they were younger. Regarding the Volunteers in Education Program, I thoroughly believe that being able to read and write well is so important to function well in life. Also, I enjoy learning new things; in particular, languages. In university, I focused my studies on literature, languages, and linguistics. Now that I am retired and have the time to devote to more volunteering, I wanted to share my love of literature and language with students at all levels and hopefully, not only help them with their own learning journey, but instill in them the same love of literature and language. 

3. What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?  

Being retired, I am fortunate to be able to volunteer for a few organizations. That said, when I am not volunteering, I really enjoy doing physical activities such as golfing, soccer, kayaking, swimming, going to the gym, walking, and so on. I joke that I like to learn a new sport every decade. Also, I love to travel and see new places! We have not been able to travel this year because of Covid-19; however, I hope we will be able to resume travel soon. I am also a very social person, so I love to organize get-togethers with family and friends. Once again, we have been limited in that regard this past year, but I still manage to organize virtual get-togethers. Finally, I love to shop!! 

4. What is your personal philosophy on life? 

Wow! I guess I would say that my personal philosophy on life is to be generous, kind, thoughtful and loving. I personally have much for which to be thankful, so, for me, giving back to society and my community is vital. And, of course, being there for my family and friends whenever they may need me is important. 

5. If you had a time machine, what year would you travel to and why? 

My daughter and I are HUGE Jane Austen fans, so I think it would be pretty cool to go back in time and meet her and to live amongst her contemporaries. 

6. For 24 hours, you can steal credit for any great piece of art, song, film, book etc. which one would you claim?  

If I could claim credit for a simply beautiful piece of art, I would choose Vincent Van Gogh’s “La Nuit étoilée”.  

7. What is your favorite hidden gem in Ottawa?

Having worked in downtown Ottawa for many years, I have two favourite spots to share, for two very different, rather indulgent, reasons. When it comes to eating, one of my favourite cozy restaurants in Ottawa is Aroma Meze. To pamper myself, one of my favourite shops is the Eliza G. Boutique.  

8. What was the single greatest lesson of this past year and what did it teach you about yourself? 

For me, this past year has underlined the fact that there is absolutely nothing to compare to being able to hug ALL of the people you love.  

If you are interested in volunteering with ONFE Volunteers in Education, please visit: 

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