Name: Ellen Welch
Nominating Organization: City of Irvine
Honoree Category: Education
Why Nominated: It is a great pleasure to nominate Ellen Welch for the Spirit of Volunteerism recognition. Ellen Welch deserves to be honored with this award for her commitment and dedication to establishing and providing English mentoring programs throughout the community for over a decade. In 2001, Ellen implemented Irvine’s English Mentoring program in collaboration with the Irvine Multicultural Association, recruiting both students and mentors from the Irvine Multicultural Association membership. This program has grown to serve hundreds of culturally diverse and socially isolated seniors, as well as English learners of all ages. English Mentor volunteers provide a fun, educational, supportive experience to new English learners in our community. Ellen’s patience, organizational skills and enthusiasm for this valuable community service have greatly contributed to the English Mentor program’s success.
Throughout her career as a teacher, Ellen has demonstrated a strong commitment to educational and social development for all individuals. Ellen and the group of volunteer mentors she supervises, provide instruction in the areas of conversational English, grammar, reading, listening comprehension, writing, and vocabulary. Volunteer mentors provide services in group and one-to-one settings, free of charge to over one hundred students annually. Ellen provides regular training meetings for volunteer mentors, offering learning resources and teaching methods; and gatherings for mentors and students to socialize and recognize their progress.
English Mentor volunteers share Ellen’s vision for a collaborative mentoring program that promotes self-advocacy and support for older adults who may otherwise be socially and culturally isolated. Thirteen years ago, Ellen initiated an ambitious volunteer endeavor to provide a needed service, promoting access to education and social opportunities. The English Mentor program targets the provision of educational services, as well as reduction of isolation for many older adults with limited English. English Mentoring is a valued addition to the Irvine Multicultural Association’s programs. Ellen Welch demonstrates a legacy of community and educational promotion, and is most certainly deserving of the 2014 Annual Spirit of Volunteerism Award.
Lynne Conger, LCSW, Social Service Supervisor, City of Irvine
Please write a note of congratulations below!