Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Community Service Commission honored 46 individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations recipients of the 2022 Governor’s Service Awards and applauded their commitment to volunteerism, service or philanthropy in an awards ceremony held November 17th at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
Oakland Literacy tutor Irene Sinclair was awarded the Civic Engagement Impact Award.
“Michigan succeeds because of Michiganders who go above and beyond to serve their communities and lift up others,” said Governor Whitmer. “This year’s winners get things done even when nobody’s looking because they know that every contribution makes a huge impact. I am honored to present the Governor’s Service Awards to this year’s 46 recipients and urge every Michigander to get involved in their community so we can move our state forward together.”
Irene Sinclair, at every level, is tireless in her efforts to help English language learners improve the quality of life for themselves and their families. Irene spent her professional life as an adult educator in Detroit Public Schools (DPS). During her tenure with DPS, she oversaw several adult education learning centers, trained adult education teachers, wrote curriculum, and taught both foreign-born and native-born adults with low literacy levels. Since her retirement, Irene has generously shared her deep knowledge and dedication to adult literacy as a volunteer with Oakland Literacy Council (OLC). Irene has dedicated eight years and over 1,000+ volunteer hours to OLC where she has made a positive and meaningful difference in the lives of hundreds of tutors and adult learners. Over the years, Irene developed and delivered supplemental professional development workshops to volunteers on topics including lesson planning and conversational skills. In addition to volunteering with OLC, Irene served as a community mediator for Oakland Mediation Center helping parties peacefully resolve conflicts. In the words of Irene, “Literacy gives people opportunities to live fuller lives. That’s my strongest reason for being committed to adult learning.”
“We are so excited to see the Governor recognize the hard work of Irene,” said OLC Executive Director Lisa Machesky, “she is such a fierce advocate for adult education and has been a mentor to our staff and to so many of our tutors. She truly has made an impact on the lives of so many.”
You can see more of Irene’s story at the Michigan Heros website: Michigan Heroes Project