Ron Fenech worked in the information technology field for 35 years before some health challenges required an early retirement. Since he wasn’t ready to abandon his love of computer technology, he put his passion to use by volunteering to teach OASIS Connections classes.
“You cannot stop something you love after 35 years just like that,” says Ron, who underwent a life-saving kidney transplant in 2005. “OASIS gave me the opportunity to stay active in my former profession and pass on knowledge that I have gained. It has made me feel useful again.”
Ron teaches Introduction to Excel at the Weston branch of the Broward County Library in Fort Lauderdale, FL. David Lawrence oversees that computer lab and says Ron is a wonderful instructor.
“He is very patient and willing to go the extra mile to help students learn computer class concepts,” says David. “He makes everyone feel welcome by encouraging everyone to interact. He truly enjoys giving back to the community by sharing his knowledge and expertise with his students.”
Hayley St. John-Ayre, an administrative coordinator within the Broward County Library system, agrees. “Ron is dedicated and enthusiastic and we truly appreciate his efforts,” she says.
Ron says he enjoys seeing students grasp the technology and the concepts he is teaching. He particularly enjoyed an experience he had recently when one of his class members asked if her sons -- ages 7 and 11 -- could attend the classes with her.
“I was a little doubtful because Excel is a very technical class,” says Ron. “Lo and behold, the 7-year-old is unbelievable. His ability to absorb and understand technical data is astounding. I am shocked that a 68-year-old man is teaching Excel to a 7-year-old.”
Ron says that volunteering showed him that even though his body is aging, his mind is very sharp and he has a valuable skill to offer. “It makes me feel good that I am still helping to make a difference!”