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Congratulations, Susan: 2022 Alma C. Liotta Award for Excellence

Susan's hard work and dedication ensured that LVSC's programs continued uninterrupted during the height of the pandemic.


At LVSC’s 2022 Annual Meeting & Recognition Night, Susan Engelstein was presented with the Alma C. Liotta Award for Excellence. This award is named for LVSC’s founder, a retired school teacher, who formed our organization at her kitchen table in 1981.  The award is presented to an individual who has given extraordinary service to LVSC.

Susan began her time with LVSC as a tutor in 2001. In 2013 she joined the staff as Program & Events Manager and has dedicated herself 110% to our organization. She is a true advocate, involving family and friends as volunteers and supporters.

With the Alma C. Liotta Award for Excellence.

LVSC executive director Aimee Lam was excited to surprise Susan with this award at the Annual Meeting. Says Aimee, “Susan has done a tremendous job during the past two years to make sure our programs have continued uninterrupted despite significant challenges posed by the pandemic. She has gone above and beyond to deliver exceptional service and I can think of no one more deserving of this award.”

First and foremost, Susan transitioned all logistics of an in-person program to an entirely virtual program and back again. This included designing and revising procedures, communicating continuously with our community, and conducting countless parking lot meetings and door-to-door deliveries of books and student learning materials. It wasn’t easy, she had no prior training in this area, and there was no road map. But Susan was flexible and ready to meet the challenge.

Susan (far right) at a parking lot meeting with tutors.

In addition, during the past two years alone, Susan single-handedly:

  • enrolled, assessed and matched more than 200 students, and
  • recruited and enrolled more than 90 new tutors.

Let that sink in for a minute!

Susan handles big details with ease. Like running the conversation group program which includes managing multiple volunteer schedules while parsing 150 students into 10 weekly groups on an ongoing basis. And, like matching long lists of students with individual tutors based on time availability, preference of meeting place, and common interests.

She also joyfully manages small details – like all the details that make our events special. The personalized balloons? Susan. The delicious cupcakes from a local business? Susan. The individually labeled containers for snacks?  Susan. The prizes, the signs, the welcoming emails.  All Susan.

Ready for LVSC's 40th Anniversary Celebration.

I appreciate Susan’s positive and supportive attitude and her honest feedback.  I am grateful to call Susan my colleague and honored to call her my friend.

-Aimee Lam, Executive Director

Susan's contributions to the LVSC community are many. She is dedicated, creative, and a great asset to the very small LVSC staff. Under her caring hand hundreds of tutors have been matched with hundreds of students. Students and tutors alike have made lifelong friendships, learned something new, reached milestone accomplishments, and achieved meaningful life goals.