Elizabeth Datkovic

Elizabeth Datkovic


Elizabeth Datkovic was born in Peru, and came to the United States as an adult with a master’s in communications from the University of Catholic Santa Maria. Upon graduation in 1980, she and her two children moved to Sturgis, where her sister was living. Although she spoke four languages, English was not one of them. She moved to New York City and attended Queens College where she learned English and basic computers. She returned to Michigan and attended MSU where she completed her second masters’ degree in adult education. She came back to Sturgis with her family and taught English as a Second Language (ESL) and Spanish for 17 years within Sturgis Public Schools and others.

Elizabeth also opened Centro de Ayuda in 1998 a non-profit organization in Sturgis to help and educate the newcomers, provide social interaction and work on social issues.

As if all this wasn’t enough, Elizabeth purchased Fiesta Mexicana, a Mexican restaurant in Sturgis and operated it with her husband, Tony, for over 12 years.

Elizabeth received the Outstanding Leadership award from the State of Michigan in 2001, was named Sturgis Citizen of the Year in 2002, received the Hispanic Advocate Civil Duty award in 2003 from the Telamon Farmworkers Corporation, and because of her work in establishing Centro de Ayuda she received the St. Joseph County Liberty Bell award.

In addition to serving on the Glen Oaks Board of Trustees, and as a liaison to the GOCC Foundation, Elizabeth is the past president of the Lyons Club and Sturgis Woman’s Club and is vice-chair of the St. Joseph Covered Bridge Clinic.