The Inter-Service Club Council of Dearborn recently hosted its 55th Annual Thanks for Giving Luncheon.
The AAUW-Dearborn nominee for Serviceperson of the Year was Judy Monroe. An additional seven volunteers were nominated by Exchange, Garden, Kiwanis, Optimist, and Rotary clubs this year.
Judy Monroe taught middle-school English and social studies for three decades. She raised two children with her husband George Monroe, a longtime, much loved principal in the Dearborn Public Schools. During summers, George worked as a national park ranger, while Judy kept careful watch on their children and served as a park volunteer.
Judy originally joined AAUW because of her commitment to human rights, and our organization has benefited from her activism as a member-leader for eighteen years.
She has served as secretary, chaired the International Relations Study Group, and chaired our major fundraiser, the annual used-book sale. Judy has impeccable integrity and works tirelessly on behalf of our branch. No job too big, no job too small.
She tutored a limited-English-proficient college student, focusing primarily upon writing skills, and proudly saw her graduate with an MBA from UM-D. Judy has served as our college liaison with both Henry Ford College and University of Michigan-Dearborn. She holds the SOAR program in high regard. It provides academic, financial, and personal support services to non-traditional students at UM-D. Helping “support…non-traditionally aged individuals experiencing socioeconomic challenges who wish to begin or resume their post-secondary education,” makes great sense to Judy. As a retired educator, she knows full well the importance of formal educational experiences. “SOAR students receive reduced tuition-and-textbook subsidy in their first year as well as academic and personal support that continues throughout their tenure as UM-Dearborn students.”
The choices Judy makes in her daily life provide evidence of her compassion for and commitment to others. She grew up in a small community just north of Grand Rapids where people learned a solid work ethic and helped others. In Cedar Springs, Michigan, Judy lived on a dairy farm and attended a one-room school house.
All forty-three years of her married life, summers were spent in national parks, mostly in Yellowstone. She has a passion for travel, meeting people, and photography. After the loss of her spouse to cancer, her enthusiasm for life surfaced again during photography expeditions to Costa Rica and the Arctic Circle. Judy Monroe has accumulated a portfolio of more than 50,000 photographs!
Daily she asks: “What needs to be done? What can I do to help? What can I bring to the table?”
For Judy, volunteerism is a way of life. She is unselfish, talented and generous. We have benefited greatly from her kindness, sharing, and talents. Kudos to Judy Monroe!