Siham Eldadah & Irene Coleman: Educators enriching the lives of our youth
Siham and Irene are recipients of our 2012 Linowes Leadership award, recognizing the “unsung heroes” who are working to make our community better every day.
For years, Siham Eldadah and Irene Coleman have been making a difference in the community by enriching the lives of our area youth. As educators, they believe it is important to create opportunities for young people to achieve success, and have worked tirelessly to recognize the achievements of Montgomery County Public middle school students through the establishment of two county-wide awards programs, Understanding Diversity through the Arts and Celebrating Diversity through Creative Writing. For nearly ten years, Siham and Irene have led diverse coalitions – including departments of county government, the public school system, non-profit organizations, and businesses – to celebrate the outstanding achievements of young people in their community. Their contributions are especially unique because they have targeted middle school students who often have fewer available options or resources for support. Their ability to gain the support of school administrators for these projects is particularly noteworthy, primarily because arts education often takes a backseat to science and technology. Both women are active, civic-minded community members with vastly different backgrounds – Siham is a major supporter and patron of the arts, and founder of Muslim Women in the Arts and Irene is an advocate for public education, and an upstanding member of her church and community. This unlikely pair has crossed cultural, ethnic, and racial boundaries to make great accomplishments that benefit the community. They are living testaments to the world in which they work to create.
Click the video below to watch Irene’s story.