The Laredo Under Seven Flags Rotary Club is honored and privileged to inform you that Mrs. Veronica Orduño, a Mathematics Department Head teacher at Dr. Joaquin G. Cigarroa Middle School, has been selected as our Paul Harris Fellow. Her professional resume reflects her many years of service to the youth of South Laredo, honors and awards she has received. In particular, her Community Work is very noteworthy.
For over thirty years, Mrs. Veronica Orduño has been a pivotal figure in the Laredo community. In her career as an educator, she has impacted and empowered thousands of young minds. Many of her students have gone on to be doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, and very productive citizens in their respective communities. Mrs. Orduño also has taken on different roles in school including UIL Coach, Math Instructional Coach, Math Master Teacher, among other titles.
Story and pictures submitted by Joe Almazan
Aside from her educational career, Mrs. Orduño is the founder of the nonprofit organization, Families for Autism Support and Awareness (FFASAA) group in Laredo (founded in 1999). She has been an advocate for her, son Tito, and helped pave the way for families with children with Autism. Her goal for FFASAA is for families with Autistic children to meet, have a place to talk, provide guidance, and most importantly, support each other.
“We wanted to meet other parents with children diagnosed under the spectrum, we wanted to help them navigate this strange but beautiful world, but most importantly, we didn’t want any of them to go through what we were going through- the isolation, the stares, the judgement. The most hurtful thing about our autism journey was not Tito’s diagnosis; it was the lack of compassion and education about autism in our community. Our meetings started small; five families, one teacher, and one speech therapist” .states Orduño.
Mrs. Orduño has been the recipient of several grants that have benefitted the families of children with Autism in Laredo. She organizes monthly meetings, and activities for the families including Sensory Friendly Movies, Night at the Carnival, Fiesta Texas trips, Light It Up Blue, and many other events and activities.
Mrs. Veronica Orduño is a pillar in the Laredo community. She is very well deserving of this recognition. Mrs. Orduño has impacted the lives of thousands of students in her career as an educator. She has also created a community that provides support and guidance for families with Autistic children through the nonprofit she founded, FFASAA. It is people like Mrs. Orduño that help shape the future of our communities.
“After twenty years of serving the Laredo community, we have met over 600 families of children diagnosed with autism. They come to us for support, for guidance, and unity. They think we are helping them navigate the autism journey but the truth of the matter is that we have enriched our own lives by letting us watch their children thrive and succeed, for this, we are grateful”
The presentation of Paul Harris Fellow Recognition is The Rotary Foundation and Laredo Under Seven Flags Rotary Club’s way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its humanitarian and educational programs. Plans are under way to celebrate this coming April 2021 during Laredo’s Autism Awareness Month.