Colleen Salzetti, a resident of the Park Village area of PQ for 20 years, began thinking about helping others at an early age – and, since becoming a “candy-striper” hospital volunteer at a local hospital at age 16, she has been hooked.

“I think every adult should consider volunteering in some area that they feel passionate about,” said Salzetti, a 56-year-old married mother of three. “It could only be a few hours every month or every few months, but make that commitment.”

A big part of Salzetti’s life over the years has been supporting her three children’s schools. When her eldest son Matt, now 23, started 1st grade at Park Village Elementary School in Rancho Penasquitos in 1994, she was volunteering in his classroom. Soon after, she coordinated a silent auction fundraiser and eventually became president of the school’s Parent Teacher Association. The idea of being involved in her son’s education continued and opened the door for volunteering when her other children started at local schools. Then, as her children were getting older, she pursued a higher level of volunteering.

“In 2006, I started volunteering for UCLA as an alumni college rep at College Fairs in San Diego,” she said. “The next thing I knew in the spring I was interviewing students for UCLA Alumni scholarships in the San Diego area.”

Since Salzetti was a UCLA graduate with a degree in psychology, and a huge fan of UCLA football, it is no wonder why it was her next adventure in volunteering. Although her goodwill activities don’t stop there: She considers her biggest accomplishment to be when she coordinated the Poway Unified School District College Fair at Westview in 2008, when about 5,000 people attended. Due to the tremendous turnout for the event, it expanded to a district-wide high school college fair the next two years – opening the door for more than 140 colleges, trade and technical schools to attend, giving local students a wide variety of education choices and information (the next college fair will be Oct. 18 at Del Norte High School in 4S Ranch).

Even though Salzetti volunteers time to the schools – coordinating projects, holding board positions, fundraising, and more – and the Poway Kiwanis Club, she still finds time for the things she loves. “My hobbies are scrapbooking and genealogy, both of which I have been working on for the past 18 years,” she said. “And I am looking forward to spending more time on these hobbies in the fall when I become an empty nester!”