“Tita” Dieza Dolencio
Host Family Volunteer, Pearson College UWC
It is fair to say that Tita (Tagalog for “Auntie”) has given a lifetime of service to the students of Pearson College UWC. With more than 40 consecutive years as a Host Family volunteer, Tita welcomed her first homesick Pearsonite long before any of the dozens of students who shared Christmas with her in 2016 were born. Volunteers are not paid staff, but they help make up the lifeblood of a residential school that draws young people from around the world. Now approaching her 80th birthday, Tita still invites students of all nationalities for special holiday dinners prepared to reflect both her Filipino heritage and her Canadian home. She still encourages others to consider the constructive impact they can have on students as a Host Family volunteer, as well as the positive impact students in turn will have on volunteers.
“The best way to make a home is to cook good food. Students miss home; a meal and a home, a place to be at rest - this is what I always wanted to give them, a safe resting ground.”