Volunteer Spotlight: Rosemary

Meet Rosemary Biderman, English & Citizenship Tutor

Rosemary was a special education teacher for more than 20 years, and her volunteering experience goes back to her junior high years when she volunteered at nursing homes and assisting individuals with mental disabilities. While taking a class through Grant Wood 25 years ago, she was inspired to volunteer by a former director at CMC – and the rest is history!

Over the years, Rosemary has tutored in several different programs at the Catherine McAuley Center, providing more than 400 hours of service! She has tutored women pursuing their high school equivalency, adults studying English as a Second Language, and she has helped five students achieve their U.S. citizenship.

“It was very exciting to go to my first citizenship graduation. I thought that was pretty cool,” Rosemary says. She also loves the “aha moment” when students gain confidence. “I think you should praise a lot, but it has to be sincere.”

Rosemary admires the courage of English language learners, recognizing the challenges of navigating daily life in an unfamiliar language. She remarks, “I just think they are so brave…it is very intimidating and frightening when you don’t speak the language. And I just think they are so very, very brave to come here and do that every day.”

Reflecting on the impact of her time tutoring students, she shares, “I know it has impacted my family.”

Tutoring has played a powerful influence in many aspects of Rosemary’s life. Her youngest son similarly volunteered at CMC during his high school years. Now, she relishes the opportunity to recount her tutoring experiences to her granddaughters after each lesson. She adds, “even when I was teaching the students, I told them about the citizenship celebration and they had a lot of questions. So, I think it just spreads all over.”

As a long-time member of the CMC community, Rosemary says, “it means a lot” and she really values the relationships she’s made here.

Thank you, Rosemary, for the many years of service!