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Volunteers in Education Spotlight: Kat Fouzie

In honour of National Volunteer Week, meet Kat Fouzie, an inspiring force behind the Volunteers in Education (VIE) After School Virtual Tutoring program in Ottawa. Kat not only enriches the academic lives of her students but also captures the hearts of all who work with her. With a passion for French and a personal commitment to nurturing young minds, Kat exemplifies the profound impact one individual can have on the community. As she prepares to enhance her journey in education at the University of Ottawa, let’s delve into her story, motivations, and the lessons she carries forward in her remarkable volunteer service.

Testimonial from Adriana Johnston, Program Manager of Volunteers in Education (VIE)

“Kat is a wonderful volunteer, who is deeply committed to student learning in Ottawa. She’s caring and conscientious and goes above and beyond to plan engaging lessons for the students she tutors virtually. She’s very kind and genuinely roots for the kids she supports as they work to improve their French. She’s had great feedback from parents and she is lovely to work with on the admin side. We’re lucky to have Kat on our team of VIE After School Virtual Tutors – thank you for your dedication, Kat!”

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in Richmond Hill, but I’ve lived in Ottawa for so much of my life that I call it home! I went to the University of Waterloo and obtained a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in French, with a minor in Knowledge Integration, and will be starting in the Teacher Education program at the University of Ottawa in the fall. I have a younger brother who is completing his studies in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, and I also have a pet cat named Bow. Outside of volunteering, I love to bake for friends and family, play guitar and piano, cycle, and watch hockey games.

What made you decide to volunteer as an after school virtual tutor?

I first heard about the program through one of my high school teachers. He recommended it as a way to gain experience when I had first expressed an interest in teaching, and I’m so grateful that he did!

Who was your favourite teacher and why?

I’m very fortunate to have had many excellent teachers throughout my educational career, and so I can’t say that I have one favourite. However, my high school French, Social Studies, and Math teachers are the ones who made me realise that I wanted to become a teacher. They were kind, innovative, and taught me so much more than just the curriculum.

What is your personal philosophy on life?

I feel like it’s important to be able to see yourself as a work in progress. Nothing is truly a setback as long as you find a way to learn and grow from it. Embrace the learning opportunities, and be patient with yourself as you grow and improve. Be kind to yourself as you discover what the best version of you looks like.

If you could go back to a particular grade level or childhood age, which would it be and why?

Right now, I think I would go back to middle school. I’m enrolled in the Junior/Intermediate division of the Teacher Education program, and so it would refresh my memory of how it felt to be that age, which could make me a better teacher.

What is your favourite hidden gem in Ottawa?

I’m a big fan of Pizza Nerds! They do the classics well, and also offer some really inventive topping combinations that are always delicious. I also love Beachconers, an ice cream shop at Britannia Beach. They have creative flavours like bakery explosion (featuring cookie pieces from the bakery next door) and Harold (with ginger cookies and orange marmalade), and the beach is a picturesque place for a bike ride or walk.

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

This year, tutoring has helped me to become a more confident communicator. Working with different ages, abilities, and attitudes has taught me how to use what I know to be creative in addressing needs.

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

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