ESL In-Home’s Florence Phillips featured by CNN |

ESL In-Home’s Florence Phillips featured by CNN

by Anne Knowles
Helen Wood, a tutor, and Florence Phillips, founder and executive director, ESL In-Home Program of Northern Nevada, at the Tuesday fundraiser held in the Nevada Room at the Governor's Mansion.
Anne Knowles/Nevada Appeal

Carson City resident Florence Phillips is this week’s CNN Hero.

The cable news network is featuring the 87 year-old founder and director of ESL In-Home Program of Northern Nevada in its Peabody Award-winning series on “everyday people changing the world.”

CNN came to Northern Nevada earlier this month to film Phillips and students from her non-profit language program, and the piece is now online at

“CNN did a wonderful job exposing my program and focusing on the immigrants who study and achieve citizenship,” said Phillips.

In the CNN feature, Phillips talks about growing up in New York, the child of Jewish immigrants who fled Europe before the Holocaust.

“I did all the translations for them,” Phillips told CNN. “I saw how they struggled being new to a country and not knowing the language.”

She joined the Peace Corps in her 50s and worked on community projects and taught English in Kenya, Guatemala and Jamaica. She returned to the United States when she was 69 years old, volunteered with AmeriCorps, and established the ESL program in 2004.

Phillips hosted a fundraiser for her organization on Tuesday in the Nevada Room at the Governor’s Mansion, where Mayor Bob Crowell introduced the CNN feature.

In addition to free language tutoring services, the ESL In-Home Program provides workplace communication, computer literacy, GED preparation, and citizenship study regardless of sex, age, race, religion or national or ethnic origin, or physical disabilities. Proceeds from the fundraiser will fund the program’s operations.

Donations can also be made at