Setting goals, grabbing opportunities and embracing fate

Planned giving
Student experience
Delores Young portrait
Dolores Young (MEd ’83) has led an adventure-filled life that combined international travel, learning about different cultures and love of education.

“I have had all these experiences and fate has been good to me. Everywhere I went, something happened that led to something else, and I received the right support to enable me to go on and achieve my goals,” says Dolores Young. And while she attributes many of these opportunities to chance, it’s easy to see that perseverance, goal-setting and taking risks also played a key role.

It all started when the small school in her Nova Scotia hometown was unable to find a teacher and she was asked to fill the position. Unsure of which direction she wanted to follow, the then 16-year-old decided to give it a try. Not only did she enjoy it, Dolores Young realized teaching was her calling and she went on to teachers’ college. She credits this experience with changing the course of her life because she says she wouldn't have voluntarily picked teaching.

Later, even though she was a mature student with a family, her audacious spirit led her to pursue graduate studies in education at uOttawa in order to build on her existing qualifications. This opened up several different opportunities, including teaching in Canada’s North at Indigenous elementary schools, working at a teacher’s college in Poland just after the Berlin Wall came down, and teaching English as a second language to businesspeople in Prague.

A dedicated donor to the University of Ottawa for more than 37 years, Dolores Young established her own scholarship for students in financial need and has also committed to a gift in her estate plans to ensure the viability and perpetuity of the scholarship. “I have received so much from the University. I’d like to help the students who are having financial difficulties reach their goals because I know it’s very expensive. I think education is very important and I would like to help where I can.”

So while she attributes many of her life adventures to fate, Dolores Young also provides a sound reminder that ambition and taking chances are worthwhile. “You have to have your goals. You have to work towards them. Opportunities will come within your field and even if it seems scary, grab them because they pass and might not come back again. Go for it if you get a chance. And I hope I can help others have the same kind of enjoyment in life that I had.”

Planned giving

“I received the right support to enable me to go on and achieve my goals.”

Delores Young

— (MEd ’83)

Many University of Ottawa alumni have included a gift to the University and its students in their estate plans. It is important to inform the University of your intention as our planned giving team will be able to validate the designation of your future gift with you. To learn more about this type of philanthropic project, please contact us. Thank you for your support!