Eleanore Velez FP’07 Receives Founders of America Award

Eleanore VelezEleanore Velez FP’07 will be honored at the Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) annual gala, alongside Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and First Lady Diane Patrick, on October 25 in Lenox, Massachusetts. LitNet, a small nonprofit that provides one-on-one tutoring to more than 115 adults in basic reading, English as a second language, math, and GED preparation, will present Velez with its sixth-annual Founders of America Award. The award pays tribute to immigrants who have made important contributions to American society in general, and to life in the Berkshires in particular.

Velez—an admissions counselor and coordinator of the Multicultural Center at Berkshire Community College—was born and grew up in Mexico. A source of inspiration and guidance for hundreds of people in her community, she shares the transformative and liberating powers of education with her LitNet students.

“My time at Mount Holyoke is without a doubt the time when I was inspired to push boundaries and work as hard as I could to ensure that education is not a privilege for a few, but available to all,” says Velez. “Mary Lyon’s determination in creating a space in higher education for women was revolutionary in her time. Her skill, foresight, and vision inspire me to fight for those in our community who have been deprived of an education. Mary Lyon, through Mount Holyoke, gave me an education so I could continue her work and help others find their passions.”

—By Lauren Kodiak

This article appeared in the fall 2014 issue of the Alumnae Quarterly.

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