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Volunteer Spends Over 20 Years as Foster Grandparent

Volunteer of the Month: Rupertita Tafoya

April 7, 2017

Albuquerque, NM – Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized Rupertita “Rupe” Tafoya as the City of Albuquerque’s Volunteer of the Month for serving 23 years as a Foster Grandparent.

In 1994, Tafoya began volunteering in the Foster Grandparent Program, sponsored by the City of Albuquerque’s Department of Senior Affairs, at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School. Specialists with the Foster Grandparent Program match individuals who are 55 years and older, who would like to volunteer their time. After receiving proper training, the Foster Grandparent engages in a meaningful way with children identified by their school’s specialized instructional support personnel or daycare staff. Foster Grandparents play an influential role because of the assistance they provide to children with special circumstances including those who have an incarcerated parent, have been placed in the foster care system, or have a developmental disability.

Several times per week, Tafoya helps students by providing an extra hand and by generally caring for the students. Because Tafoya speaks fluent Spanish, she provides specialized assistance with students with language barriers. Tafoya’s presence at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School has earned her the nickname “Grandma Rupe”. Tafoya has 5 children, 10 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren of her own. 

Tafoya has generously volunteered her time and energy as a Foster Grandparent for over 20 years. Her commitment and service to her community are examples of her kind heart and generous spirit. It is for these reasons that Rupertita “Rupe” Tafoya was recognized as the City of Albuquerque’s Volunteer of the Month for the month of April 2017.

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 The ABQ Volunteers Advisory Board of the Mayor’s Office of Volunteerism and Engagement, or the MOVE Advisory Board, is responsible for connecting volunteers with organizations in need of volunteers. MOVE’s activities receive advisement and support from the MOVE Advisory Board, as defined by its mission statement.