BCC’s Eleanore Velez to Receive Founders of America Award

Eleanore Velez, an admissions counselor and coordinator of the Multicultural Center at Berkshire Community College (BCC), will be honored at the Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) annual gala on Oct. 25. Velez will receive the organization’s sixth annual Founders of America Award, which pays tribute to immigrants who have made important contributions to American society in general, and to life in the Berkshires in particular.

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, selected Velez, to receive the award for the inspiration and guidance she has provided to hundreds of people in the Berkshires.

“I believe that through education we can reach our full potential not only by improving our own personal circumstances, but because we can understand others better and collectively work towards the common good. I have been blessed to work along those who are pursuing that goal,” said Velez.

Velez, who has worked at BCC since the fall of 2007, was born and grew up in Mexico. She has assumed a leadership role in fostering a welcoming and engaging campus for students from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds so that they are able to thrive and achieve their full potential. She also serves as a liaison and advocate with community agencies and various college offices to enhance the dialogue that leads to deeper community integration.

BCC President Ellen Kennedy said, “We at BCC are delighted that Eleanore has been recognized for her work. BCC is pleased to be an educational resource for those who have come from all over the world to make Berkshire County their home. Eleanore plays an important role in ensuring that they know they are welcome and make the most of what we offer. She is committed to their success and to broadening the awareness of other cultures on campus and in the wider community. Equally important, she is a role model - not just for immigrants but for all of our students.”

Velez will be honored alongside Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and First Lady Diane Patrick. She resides in Lee, MA.