2007 – Detroit, Michigan
Eleanor Josaitis co-founded Focus: HOPE with Father William T. Cunningham (1930-1997) in the aftermath of the 1967 Detroit riots. This metropolitan civil and human rights organization works to eliminate racism, poverty and injustice primarily by accessing individuals to the financial mainstream. Since its establishment in 1968, Focus: HOPE has grown to nearly 300 colleagues supported by 51,000 volunteers and donors. Eleanor has provided leadership and advocacy for Focus: HOPE’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program for mothers, children, and senior citizens. She has made important contributions to public awareness of hunger and malnutrition, to the formulation of national policy and responsible legislation, and to effective program management as well as hosted the White House Conference on Aging. She has played a major role in Focus: HOPE’s internationally recognized Centers of Opportunity education and training programs that include FirstStep, FAST TRACK, Machinist Training Institute, Center for Advanced Technologies, and Information Technologies Center. The Center for Children also offers early childhood education, infant and toddler care, and before/after school programs. Active in many civic organizations, Eleanor’s current board membership include, among many, the National Workforce Alliance Board, Michigan Council for Labor and Economic Growth, Visiting Committee for the University of Michigan Business School, Advisory Board for the Arab-American and Chaldean Council, Community Impact Cabinet at United Way, Walsh College’s President’s Advisory Council, and the Advisory Board for the Detroit Executive Service Corps. Eleanor’s exemplary public service has been well recognized. She has received honorary doctoral degrees from thirteen universities including Wayne State University, University of Notre Dame, University of Michigan, New York City Technical College, Michigan State University and Walsh College.