Local Women: Irene Saucedo-Smith

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Mom to More Than 100

She’s a friend, a confidant, an advisor and a mother to not one, but 115 girls. Irene Saucedo-Smith is the house director of a sorority on Michigan State University’s (MSU’s) campus. “Girls will come knock on my door asking for Band-Aids, popcorn, bleach, sewing needs, you name it, they’ve asked me for it,” said Saucedo-Smith. She described running the house like running a hotel. Saucedo-Smith is in charge of the facility and constantly has to make sure things are safe, kept up and running smoothly. Not only is she there to help the girls, she also cooks along with the help of staff members. “Every day is different. I do have my daily tasks that are constant, but there is always something new I have to figure out and deal with. It keeps me on my toes,” said Saucedo-Smith. Before Saucedo-Smith became a house director, she traveled all over the world while volunteering for the U.S. Boys Youth Soccer Association. They traveled to play at places such as Florida, California, Las Vegas, Hawaii, England, Costa Rica and her favorite; South Korea. “I got to go there for the World Cup and it was very different than what I had imagined. People were so nice, the scenery was beautiful, it was a very interesting place,” says Saucedo-Smith. “Coaching boys was always a lot of fun, but also a lot of work.” She has also been invited to the White House and found the experience truly enjoyable. “The atmosphere was very warm and the Clinton’s were so welcoming and personable, I was very thankful to have that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Saucedo-Smith. Saucedo-Smith moved to East Lansing and ran a sporting goods store for awhile. Business was not going well because of the economic climate, so when she heard of the position as house director in the Greek system at MSU she was happy to take it. “I became happy working with the girls, it was simple and it was like I had a second family. My sons live far away so it’s great to have others here,” said Saucedo-Smith. When Saucedo-Smith isn’t able to travel to Georgia to visit her family for the holidays, girls in the sorority house open up their homes to her. Saucedo-Smith loves celebrating Thanksgiving with everyone together. “My favorite thing to do is be with loved ones and play games, anything that gets everyone involved. I don’t like when people get together and just sit around and watch television,” said Saucedo-Smith. “If there are people there with you, do something, have competitions and be present with the people that you are there with. I wish that I could be with my sons more often because they mean so much to me, but being with my girls and their families is also a very special experience.”
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