Our Mission
Senior Volunteer: Leslie

Senior Volunteer: Leslie

Feb 29, 2024 | ASPIRE, Seniors, Volunteers

At 76 years old, Leslie is a cherished volunteer at Family & Children’s Agency’s ASPIRE after-school program. Every week she uses the skills she gained over years of teaching to tutor students, helping them with math, writing, and more.

Leslie is well suited for this volunteer work, having honed her teaching skills over 30 years as a teacher at J47 School for the Deaf and as an adjunct professor at Kingsborough Community College for 27 years. She said she enjoys feeling she’s making a difference for students.

“Working with children makes you feel good and when they get the understanding of what you’re trying to help them with you come home on a high,” she said.

Leslie got involved with ASPIRE when she moved to Connecticut and toured the program. “It’s so impressive, the staff are giving their time their energy as teachers to give kids confidence in themselves.”

She said ASPIRE is giving kids small successes to build upon, and fondly remembers working with one student who was writing a story for an assignment. She struggled with grammar, and Leslie helped her get her thoughts on paper. When the student left for the day, Leslie gave her a checklist of grammar tips to remember as she finished it on her own. “The next week she came to me and hugged me and told me she got an A,” said Leslie.

“Leslie’s kind and compassionate nature make her perfectly suited to working with our students. You can tell she sincerely enjoys the volunteering she is doing, and the kids can feel that as well. Leslie helps our students feel proud of their accomplishments, both great and small,” said Allison Footit, Middle School Supervisor, ASPIRE Middle School Program.

While volunteering is wonderful for community members of all ages, it can be exceptionally beneficial for seniors, providing them with a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their post-retirement years. Engaging in volunteer activities helps seniors maintain a strong social connection, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness that can sometimes accompany aging.

Overall, the benefits of volunteering extend beyond the recipients of their help, positively impacting the volunteers themselves.

“Having stable, caring adults in their lives who are not their parents or teachers is so essential to the academic and social-emotional well-being of our kids,” said Allison.

Thank you, Leslie, for all your work with our students!