Inspired by her parents, immigrants who believed in the importance of education and independence, Florence Phillips has led a highly-successful professional life. She served three tours of duty in three countries as a Peace Corps volunteer, and saw firsthand how hard it is to learn a new language. Ms. Phillips also spent time as an American vista volunteer in a variety of locations, until she realized she didn’t have to leave the United States to teach English as a second language. Statistics show that 22 percent of her community is Hispanic, and she was determined to help them overcome their obstacles. What started as a one-person tutoring service has since become flourishing nonprofit organization. Since its inception, ESL In-Home Program of Northern Nevada has assisted more than 5,000 adults and families advance in life and more than 200 people become citizens. Many of Ms. Phillips’ students are unable to attend regular classes for a variety of reasons, like job and monetary constraints or child care, which is why her program is reliant on their schedule.
In recognition of her accomplishments and efforts, Ms. Phillips earned the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2008, the Citizen of the Year Award in 2009, and the Points of Light Awards in 2009 and 2010. She was also honored to receive the Soroptimist Ruby Award in 2011, the Leadership Award in 2014, and the AARP Andrus Award. Furthermore, Ms. Phillips is an esteemed member of The International Women’s Leadership Association. Looking to the future, she hopes to find someone to replace her because of her age; she does not want the program to die when she leaves because it is her passion.
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