2019 Keynote Speaker, Juan Salgado
Juan Salgado, Dorothy Miaso, Neisha McNeal, Ben Greer III, Ruby Camacho, Blake Dunphy, and John McCleod.
2019 Opening Session Speaker, Ben Greer III

  Melissa Marie Tuason presented with
Tutor of the Year Award 
 (Juan Salgado, Melissa Marie Tuason, Ruby Camacho, Blake Dunphy, and Jim Jacob)

 Araceli Angeles presented with
Student is At The Top Award 
(Juan Salgado, Araceli Angeles, Ruby Camacho, Blake Dunphy, and Joanne Telser-Frere) 
"A great conference. I had no idea what to expect, but it exceeded expectations! I learned a lot."

 Conference Planning Committee  
Maria Alvarez, Literacy Volunteers of Illinois 
Ruby Camacho, UIC Center for Literacy
Becky DeForest, Literacy Works
Vandana Dalal, Midwest Asian American Center
 Dena Giacometti, Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition
Carol Larsen, New Reader's Press 
John McLeod, Board of Directors, Literacy Volunteers of Illinois
 Martha Salas, UIC Center for Literacy
Joanne Telser-Frere, Literacy Chicago
Timothy White, Literacy Volunteers of Illinois 
Irene Williams, Illinois State Library
 Illinois State Library, Office of the Secretary of State
New Reader's Press
Starbucks on State and Adams
New Life Volunteering Society 
Thank You to Our 
On the Road Speakers
Ben Greer III, Illinois Community College Board
 Juan Salgado, Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago 
A Special Thank You to All of This Year's 
 Full Awards Ceremony Program
Couldn't make it?
Outstanding Tutor Awards 2019

Jean Araujo, Literacy Chicago

Jean has gone beyond the call of duty, writes her nominator, Joanne Telser-Frere. She came to us to be a one-on-one tutor but soon found herself not only tutoring several students on their quest to become US Citizens, but teaching a multi-level Citizenship class as well. She successfully guided these students through the naturalization process, even though their English was at different levels, as she has the ability to engage the lowest level students while still holding the interests of the more advanced.. Jean uses a variety of sources to find information and interesting material instead of just following the book and incorporates videos and other visuals as well as role play to work with students’ different learning styles. She also created a document with Spanish equivalents and sample explanations of the more difficult vocabulary in N-400 [Application for Naturalization].


Fantazia Berry, UIC Center for Literacy, FAST Southwest

What stands out about Fantazia and makes her exceptional, her co-nominators Elisha Hall & Susie Karwowski write, is her love of teaching, attention to detail, and desire to lead new tasks, She loves teaching and will eagerly accept any professional development opportunity. For example, Fantazia is currently working on completing the rigorous ICCB Math Content Standards training which will further enhance her already strong teaching skills. Fantazia is a low key and calm person when she is not teaching, but when she starts teaching she becomes very animated which is great for parent engagement because her enthusiasm is infectious. Her work not only helps students academically but ultimately it is her patience and perseverance that allows them to believe in themselves and feel good expressing themselves. 

Jim Jacob, Triton College Access to Literacy Program

Jim is a stellar volunteer and dedication is second to none, writes his nominator, Britt Pisto. He’s been with Triton College’ Access to Literacy Program since 2011 and constantly goes out of his way to find unique ways to work with his students. He is a reliable, trustworthy teacher who takes time to explain new ideas to each of his students, following through from lesson to lesson. Jim’s appetite for learning and innovative teaching is always at the forefront of his tutoring. Having taken a ukulele classes, Jim was able to incorporate his music skills into his tutoring sessions. Jim continues his own learning by attending numerous trainings. As an avid reader, teacher, and advocate for his students, he is an outstanding role model for our program.


RoseMary Kennedy, YWCA Pekin Adult Literacy
RoseMary is a retired educator allowing her to understand the importance of literacy services in the community, writes her nominator, Tonja Ohnemus. She has been with the program since 2015 and throughout that time has demonstrated a reliability to the program and its learners. RoseMary serves many hours with her learners and preparing for her tutoring sessions. She invites her learners to attend community events with her outside of sessions and uses the outings as a learning experience. She encourages learners as a tutor and most importantly as a friend, which contributes to their success. She is always willing to assist in any way to help as needed – we recognize her for her dedication to the program but more so the progress of her learners 
Kathy Knerr, Project CARE at Morton College
Kathy has been tutoring with Project CARE for over 10 years and assisted both English as Second Language and Adult Basic Education students with different educational background and learning needs. Kathy brings positive energy to all her tutoring sessions and is exceptional because of her perseverance and enthusiasm in helping her learners overcome challenges and guiding them towards reaching their goals in small but notable steps. Kathy is able to go beyond conventional teaching methods to reach her students where they are. She emphasizes that the definition and the rate of progress is different for every student. There is nothing as energizing as tutoring for Kathy as she gains as much from them, as they from her.
Martha Villanueva, UIC Center for Literacy

Martha has demonstrated empathy and patience as a volunteer tutor at the UIC Center for Literacy AmeriCorps MORE Program, her co-nominators, Carina Gonzalez and Lisa D’Erandi de Padilla write. She can empathize with the parents she tutors in math in the Spanish GED program because she passed the GED in 2016 as a student herself. Now, as a volunteer tutor in our program, she is patient with our immigrant students because their struggles are hers. Some students who want to give up are reassured by Martha’s patient approach as she individualizes their tutoring. Once the students realize that Martha will try new methods until they understand, they keep working hard until they persevere. She is a great asset to our team and is a one of a kind tutor who inspires students by her own strong work ethic.