Betsy Hawkes Memorial Award
About the Award: Elizabeth H. Hawkes embodied the life of VEP. In 1991, Betsy became a volunteer tutor. Until her death on April 24, 2008, she served VEP in many capacities. First and foremost, she was an outstanding tutor. She taught and mentored students from all over the world. We will forever remember this outstanding individual and share our appreciation annually with many others who selflessly share their time, talent, and passion to ensure success for our shared immigrant friends and neighbors. This annual award honors Betsy’s memory and service as a long time Board Member, Board President, Tutor and Philanthropist by recognizing an individual or individuals who best represent the Volunteer English Program’s core values, goals and overall mission.
Connie Partridge with students, Claudia and Gina
Connie Partridge, an 18-year West Chester Borough resident, is a retired medical social worker and active VEP tutor. Connie has helped transform the lives of multiple immigrant students since beginning with the program in 2006. She served on the Board of Directors for eight years bringing her skills to the program during a period of tremendous growth and organizational transition.
Fellow board member and West Chester University professor, Dr. Bill Lalicker supported Connie’s nomination as this year’s Betsy Hawkes Memorial Award recipient by sharing his own experiences. “Connie Partridge has always been both a workhorse and a thinker in her work on the Board of Directors. She brought leadership to her roles, and everything she did contributed to the success of the VEP mission. In policy discussions, Connie frequently brought an incisive understanding of the issues that helped us to progress in our goals; she was quiet and thoughtful, and when she spoke up, she had the respect of everyone for the wisdom of her conclusions.”
Past Recipients of the Betsy Hawkes Memorial Award
2016 – Thulia McKee Mead
2015 – Susan Heist
2014 – Shannon Almquist
2013 – Bonnie Friedman
2012 – Carol Klauss
2011 – Rose Grobstein
2010 – Ralph Johnson
2009 – Sheila Frech