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Florence Phillips

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Florence Phillips

Florence Phillips

2019 Civil Society Awardee ESL In-Home Program of Nevada, Carson City, NV

Civil Society Awards Program

For more information about the Civil Society Awards click here.


Florence Phillips is the founder and executive director of English as a Second Language (ESL) In-Home Program of Nevada, a tutoring program for immigrants and refugees seeking to provide a better life for their families.

In 2020, Phillips updated the name of her organization to “English Language Learners In-Home Program” to reflect the growth of her program and volunteer network outside of Nevada.

With hundreds of community volunteers helping, the English Language Learners In-Home Program tutors low- to moderate- income adults in English language skills, GED preparation, citizenship study, and computer skills at no cost to the student. Since 2004, volunteer tutors have helped more than 5,000 people learn English and the cultural skills necessary to lead a successful and productive life in America. Originally serving only northern Nevada, the program has expanded its reach to learners and their families living in other states as well. 

Phillips was born in New York, after her parents fled Europe. Acting as an interpreter for her parents from a young age, she witnessed firsthand how difficult it is to learn English. Later in life, Phillips joined the Peace Corps to work on community-building projects and teach English, serving in three countries. When she returned to the United States at age 69, she became an AmeriCorps volunteer. She eventually settled in Carson City, Nevada, where she met many adult immigrants struggling to learn English. Thus, her own tutoring program was born. After 15 years serving her community, Phillips was named a Top 10 CNN Hero in 2018.

Phillips is a recipient of Manhattan Institute’s 2019 Civil Society Awards.

Learn more about Phillips’s work at


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