HOUGHTON - After being nominated numerous times, Joan Chadde, program coordinator for the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, was honored with the Heart and Hands of the Keweenaw Award by the Heart and Hands Society.
"She's just an amazing person," said Suzanne Van Dam from the selection committee for the award. "She works really hard at getting lots of people involved in her projects."
Van Dam said along with getting others excited for science and learning, she aims to get youth excited for learning as well, which made her the ideal candidate for this year's award.
Joan Chadde, who is education coordinator for the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, looks over one of the education kits she takes to local schools. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette photo by Kurt Hauglie)
Chadde was honored during the Fourth of July weekend. She was lauded for her efforts to teach youths about environmental issues.
"She's gotten area teachers involved with learning about the environment, and science curriculum," Van Dam said.
Chadde was nominated in previous years, and although worthy every year, this particular year she shined among the other nominations. Three people were nominated for the award.
"Joan has been nominated by several people," she said.
The Heart and Hands of the Keweenaw Award is bestowed on individuals who go above and beyond typical work duty, are enthusiastic and get people involved in causes. The individual is usually compassionate, giving of their time and motivated, and Chadde fit those descriptions, Van Dam said.
As winner, Chadde was given $1,000 to give away to a local charity of her choice. She picked the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, a program she works with during the school year.
"It's a project that involves area schools and Michigan Technological University," Van Dam said.
Van Dam said she was happy to see Chadde walk away with this year's award.
"Joan is so deserving," she said. "She epitomizes the heart and hands. She gives over and over to so many different people."