Noteworthy Graduate: Irma Foley
Irma Foley has been a Fanshawe College student almost from the moment Fanshawe opened its doors in 1967. After being forced to leave school as a teenager, she has become a dedicated life-long learner, taking several courses and programs at Fanshawe, studying computers, sign language, personnel administration, and other topics.
Now, just shy of her seventy-third birthday, Irma has graduated with a Developmental Services Worker diploma.
While most people her age think about slowing down, Irma (at right) keeps a very full schedule. She works regular hours at Community Living in St. Thomas, serving people with various disabilities, and makes time to volunteer in classrooms at Locke's Public School.
"I like being out there and being involved," she explains. "I'm a people person and I meet a lot of very interesting people. [School] gives me an opportunity to be out there and be active and trade ideas. I enjoy myself very much. I don't feel seventy-two."
Irma finished the Developmental Services Worker Apprenticeship program last year and felt compelled to go on and complete her diploma for both personal and professional reasons.
"You can never learn too much, can you?" she says. "With everything I do, there's always something to learn about myself. We do what we want to do or what's good for us most of the time and from that we learn. I've been assessing myself since the day I was born. I'm fascinated with people."
Diploma in hand, Irma is looking forward to continuing her work serving people with disabilities through Community Living.
"I always remember that I'm there to serve," she says. "People don't stay in this job if it's just a job to them. It's not just a job to me. I love the people I serve very dearly. And each one is an individual. I can say I'm the most peaceful and the most contented I've ever been in my life. I feel really good about everything right now."
Despite her full schedule, Irma hasn't ruled out the possibility of taking other courses in the future.