ILLINOIS - Secretary of State and State Librarian Alexi Giannoulias announced the winners of the 2024 Spotlight on Literacy Awards that recognizes participants in Illinois literacy programs.

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Ten adult learners received the Spotlight on Achievement Award, and 10 volunteer tutors received the Spotlight on Service Award during a ceremony at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield.

“These learners exemplify the best of our state, showing that even through adversity and challenges that seem insurmountable, a desire to learn is a powerful tool. I’m honored to recognize the hard work and perseverance of these individuals,” Giannoulias said. “I’m also honored to recognize the volunteer tutors who saw a need in their community and decided to make a difference. I’m grateful to you for your selfless sacrifice.”

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This year, the office has awarded grants totaling over $5.7 million in support of adult, family and workplace literacy programs throughout the state. The grant funding aids 98 programs to support more than 9,300 adults in all regions of Illinois. More than 4,000 volunteer tutors are offering their time through this initiative.

Below is a list of the award winners:

2024 Spotlight on Achievement
Adult Learner Award Winner Organization and Location
• Regine Bamue-Diamani Parkland College, Champaign
• Shelby Cohn Baby Talk, Decatur
• Anthony Dent Literacy Chicago
• Angelica Zarco Diaz YWCA Northwestern Illinois, Rockford
• Georgina Garcia Aquinas Literacy Center, Chicago
• Robert Gomez Parkland College, Champaign
• Albina Gorniakovskaia Literacy DuPage, Wheaton
• Anny Guedez PODER Learning Center, Chicago
• Vanessa Johnson Prairie State College, Chicago Heights
• Esraa Shaban Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville

2024 Spotlight on Service
Volunteer Award Winner Organization and Location
• Prathiba Dixit Metropolitan Asian Family Services, Chicago
• Barbara Ferrin Literacy DuPage, Wheaton
• Teresa Kennedy Literacy Chicago, Chicago
• Thomas Koshy Oakton College, Skokie
• Patrick Loftus Lewis & Clark Community College, Godfrey
• Mary “Mimi” Miller Aquinas Literacy Center, Chicago
• Dr. Sasha Radford ROE #17-STAR Adult Literacy Program,
Bloomington
• Cathy Salika Parkland College, Champaign
• Robyn Johnson Oakton College, Skokie
• Heidi Siegel Oakton College, Skokie

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