From to Grieving to Giving: Meet one of our favorite ESL volunteers at Samaritan House

“Volunteering at Catholic Charities has been incredibly rewarding for me.”

At Catholic Charities, our volunteers are the quiet heroes, weaving their unique skills, life experiences and kindness into the fabric of our mission. With humility and dedication, they stand alongside us, bolstering our efforts to support those in need within our community.

One such volunteer who embodies the spirit of service and empathy is Miguel, a dedicated English as Second language (ESL) teacher at Catholic Charities’ Samaritan House, who has a special spot for new immigrants because of an experience he had as a newcomer in a new place when he was working overseas.

Michael Seely

“I’ve always believed in the power of education and empathy, and here, I get to combine both to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Miguel’s journey of service began long before his time at Catholic Charities. From his early experiences as a foreign exchange student in Brazil to his extensive travels across the globe with a multinational company, Miguel developed a deep appreciation for different cultures and languages, particularly Spanish.

“Miguel’s passion for languages and cultures is evident in everything he does,” said Tracy Harper, an attorney with our Catholic Charities immigration team.

Having witnessed firsthand the challenges new immigrants face in navigating a new country and language, Miguel felt called to give back to his community, especially following the loss of his partner. “I wanted to turn my grief into something positive. Helping others has been incredibly healing for me.”

His journey with us began with a simple online search for Spanish language volunteer opportunities. “I remember the day Miguel walked in,” recalls Tony, a volunteer coordinator at Sam House. “There was an instant connection, like he was meant to be here.” What started as a desire to teach English soon expanded to include assisting with our Temporary Protected Status (TPS) workshops where he interprets as most of these clients do not speak fluent English.

Click here to read another Faces of Hope story about our TPS workshops and how Miguel has contributed as a volunteer. *

“Miguel goes above and beyond for his students,” notes Ana, one of his ESL students.

“He’s not just a teacher; he’s a friend and mentor.”

At Catholic Charities of Denver, we are grateful for volunteers like Miguel, who contribute to our mission of serving with love and dignity. Together, we continue to build a community where all are welcomed, supported and empowered to thrive.

Join us in supporting Miguel’s journey and consider how you too can make a difference through volunteering. Visit: