Gloria Tarsy volunteers as a Foster Grandparent at Terryville Elementary School in Port Jefferson Station, NY. She is an active and effective advocate for the needs of children in her community, successfully securing donations of book bags, pencils, pens, notebooks, rulers, crayons, folders and binders, as well as sneakers and clothing for the children. She has also helped better the lives of underserved children by working with Toys for Tots during the winter holidays to provide toys to more than 200 underprivileged families and by working with Foster Grandparent Program staff in the spring to make Easter baskets for children with special needs. In addition to her work with children, Gloria is an advocate for individuals with mental illness and has written many letters to area leaders and local newspapers in an effort to raise money and awareness for the National Association for Mental Illness.
A large part of Gloria’s motivation for working with at-risk children is that she firmly believes that education is paramount. She has earned a Bachelor’s degree in math, a Master’s degree in psychology and has taken courses toward a PhD. Gloria encourages education for others and promotes well-being and success in those with special needs. At Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, she advocated to employ persons with disabilities and dedicated her time and efforts to help them reach their fullest potential. Gloria helped two employees with special needs go on to earn their PhDs and aided two other disadvantaged individuals she employed to continue their education; they were eventually promoted to high-ranking positions within the company. Now 86 years old, Gloria works daily as a Foster Grandparent volunteer, helping at-risk children develop and g row personally and academically, and instills in these children the importance and value of education. She is well respected and a role model to all who are fortunate enough to know her.