Despite no prior teaching experience, David Peat has served as a volunteer teacher in both English and English as a Second Language (ESL).
After a career of hard work as an engineer, David Peat had no interest in slowing down during the next chapter of his life. “For four years after my retirement, I was bored. I didn’t have anything to do. So that’s when I started volunteering,” he said.
Peat, who moved to Chesterfield County with his wife and four children in 1978, is one of the three most recent inductees into the Chesterfield Senior Volunteer Hall of Fame. The Senior Hall of Fame program was established in 1982 to recognize members of the Chesterfield community with a minimum age of 60 that have devoted their time to serving others in various ways and forms. A life of service often goes unnoticed, and this program allows for people to be recognized for their hard work and devotion to others.
Peat’s approach to service begins with an open mind and willingness to try to new things. Despite having no prior teaching experience, he agreed to teach English as a Second Language classes through his church, Swift Creek Baptist beginning in 2012, and is currently the Director of ESL there. When asked what prompted him to get involved with this program, Peat said that he and his wife had a simple response: “Why not?”
Peat also taught English at YWAM (Youth With a Mission) for six years, where the courses lasted for three months each, twice a year, for students from all over the world who lived on the campus. He has made many genuine relationships with his students and still keeps in touch with several who have improved their lives back in their home countries as a result of his classes.
Peat has transferred his teaching skills into other parts of life, as well, by tutoring children of his friends who were struggling with mathematics. He emphasizes a sense of commitment to his students, which helps them go from struggle to success.
Peat also has spent considerable time volunteering with Senior Connections through the Volunteer Money Management Program, where he met with seniors in financial difficulty, helped them get out of that situation and onto a working budget. Through his work in this program, he was able to protect one of his clients from falling victim to fraud.
In addition, Peat and his wife teach a bible study at Lucy Corr Assisted Living in Chesterfield every Monday afternoon.
When not volunteering, Peat is an avid member of his church and enjoys going on walks, staying active and spending time with his family. Even though his professional career has ended, he still manages to maintain a full plate with the various responsibilities he has as a volunteer and as an active member of the Chesterfield County community.
Peat is a prime example of what a life of service looks like, and people like him are a big part of the fabric that makes Chesterfield a great place to live, work, play and conduct business.
When asked what inspires him to keep volunteering and keep investing his time into others, Peat responded, “Volunteering is what keeps me young.”
This blog post was written by Communications and Media summer intern Jason Lacks, who is a rising junior at Virginia Tech.