The Maura Clarke-Ita Ford (MCIF) Center

Rating: 4.89 stars   116 reviews

Issues: Education, Job Training

Location: 75 Lewis Avenue 1st Floor Brooklyn NY 11206 USA

Mission: Our mission is to provide opportunities for developing self-esteem, individual growth, and educational learning skills that will enable women to claim and realize their own potential.
Results: MCIF Center has been serving the community of Bushwick since 1993. In that time we have educated and empowered over 2000 women and men in the area. Many have left the center and achieved a better life by continuing their education, obtaining jobs, and furthering their participation in the community.
Target demographics: Immigrant women and men of Bushwick, Brooklyn and the surrounding area
Geographic areas served: Bushwick, Brooklyn and the surrounding area
Programs: English as a Second Language (ESL), GED Preparation in Spanish, Computer Literacy, Citizenship Preparation, and Entrepreneurship
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

EIN 11-3188470
(718) 452-0167
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered for one week at MCIF through my college’s service program. From day one, I was so impressed with the MCIF program; from the enthusiasm of the teachers and the students, to the value placed on fostering a sense of community within the program, to the way the program effectively carried out their mission statement of educating and empowering women. It was always evident that both the students and the teachers wanted to be there. Each day, the students would thank the teacher (and thank me, the volunteer) for being there and teaching them new things. I observed first-hand how dedicated my teacher was to educating her students, and the way she encouraged a classroom atmosphere conducive to open communication. There was never a lack of class participation; the students were very enthusiastic about raising their hands in class to read a passage or volunteer an answer. I thought very highly of the way the classroom emphasized active learning, as it allowed the students to get the most out of lessons by continuously participating and essentially providing feedback about their level of understanding, while simultaneously increasing the students’ self esteem. The lessons taught at MCIF are invaluable in educating otherwise economically disadvantaged women with the essential skills they need to have better relationships with their families and with the community, and grow as self-respecting individuals.
It was also evident that the members of the administrative staff at MCIF were there for the right reasons. Whenever we would discuss the program and its aims, it was clear that the administrators were student and education focused. They made sure to promote entrepreneurial workshops like making cards or jewelry, which are great opportunities for the students to gain other skills to discover how to support their families financially and realize their own potential.
My time spent at MCIF was truly invaluable and impacted my life, and I cherished my time there. I appreciate what MCIF does for its students, and how it works towards breaking the unrelenting cycle of poverty. MCIF changes lives.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in the way that I've gained a greater appreciation for the opportunities I am given. Since working at MCIF and seeing how dedicated the women are to working hard to reach their potential, I have been impacted to do the same and not to take my education for granted.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would increase its funding, because what MCIF does for its students is truly invaluable and empowers for many otherwise underprivileged women.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

This volunteer experience made me feel like I was changing lives, simply by being involved with the MCIF program. They make such an impact on their students that just volunteering there for a week gave me a great sense of self-fulfillment, and that I was making a difference in the community.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

There could be no greater service to the Bushwick community than the education that Maura Clarke-Ita Ford center provides. Students not only better themselves by improving their grasp of the English language, but also by developing a sense of community as both a New Yorker and an American. I was struck by the cultural diversity of both the faculty and the students themselves, but their differences served to foster a more dynamic learning environment. Despite their varied backgrounds, they all strived for a common goal to create a better life for themselves and their families. This is most apparent during the graduation ceremony where the year to year progress is most evident. The classes that graduate from the program have a sense of shared accomplishment, knowing that they have helped their fellow classmates obtain a new level of confidence in their language skills. This attitude was exemplified in the end of the year play, written and acted out by the students themselves, who showed no hesitations in expressing their newly developed skills. Truly, the Maura Clarke-Ita Ford center is a jewel of the Bushwick community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

carrying out conversations with graduates

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

As a public health professional, I undrestand and value the effort that MCIF is doing to prepare and train immigrant women to succeed in the U.S. improving their quality of life. Many of these women that are benefiting from the programs at MCIF are head of household and their progress will certainly affect future generations. I hope MCIF could expand the services to other immigrants populations around NYC.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

After my sister, Sr. Maura Clarke, was killed in El Salvador in 1980, I wondered how to keep her memory, and her good work alive. The two sisters who began this Center in Bushwick, Brooklyn, have done so. Maura (and her friend) Ita Ford were committed to impoving living conditions and educational opportunities for women, their children, and their families. In Brooklyn, MCIF conducts English as a second language classes, assists people to get their GED, and also broadens their employment opportunities. MCIF helps new immigrants make the challenging transitision from their home countries to become contributing American citizens. MCIF is a friendly, welcoming place where both men and women can come to help them find their place in this country. I am honored to be part of this grass roots organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

when I see how well the graduates and current members are doing. It is very inspiring.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would add even more programs so that more people can experience this great place.

Ways to make it better...

make it easier to enter reviews. Not quite clear.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

I, along with a few other students from New York Law School, had the great pleasure to present to the women and men of the Maura Clarke-ITA Ford Center on immigration topics. The level of respect and genuine care that the Bushwick community displayed toward the volunteers at MCIF is a true representation of the wonderful services that the organization offers. One can only wish that more such non-profits existed.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my volunteer service to MCIF during an Immigration Know Your Rights Presentation.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

The Maura Clarke - Ita Ford Center has been serving the women of Bushwick for 17 years. We began with 42 women and have reached well over 2,000. The beuaty of MCIF is that it continues to change as the needs of the women who come change. Each woman who comes through the door finds a place. Owning ones gifts and using them is an every day event. I used to think that we all somehow benefitted from the Center. We all are better poeple for having been there.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

meeting women on my travels. Once, within a week, I met one woman on a bus and Queens and she was coming home from her job and later that week I ran into another participant going to her home health aide job. Women move ahead with their lives

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would find a bigger spot to meet all the needs of the women of Bushwick

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Being there every day.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The staff and volunteers are very dedicated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Build a building, expand programs, and pay staff more money.

Ways to make it better...

I cannot think of anything

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

As with many not for profits funding is a poreblem these days. The need for permanent space.

One thing I'd also say is that...

It was the best time of my life.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

We have been funding MCIF for 11 years now and are truly impressed with their story. They execute well-rounded programs to help better the lives of the Bushwick community members. Their warmth and deep passion for the work transcends down to the children of the mothers/fathers they help. We look forward to witnessing what other creative programs they have in store for us in the coming years...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The way they handle challenges thrown at them, especially in these hard economic times.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

MCIF is a wonderful organization - making amazing strides with limited resources. MCIF has made an impact in the lives of many women who have immigrated to the US without means. What is special about MCIF is the unwavering commitment of the staff and the director to the students – ensuring that the MCIF participants not only learn English but truly grow and develop as individuals.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Have seen the impact – in learning about the numerous alumni who walked through MCIF’s doors – MCIF has touched the lives of many people.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

The MCIF Center is an invaluable resource for women (and men) to learn vital skills like English, computer technology, jewelry making and other crafts, and entrepreneurship. It is a place to earn a GED, to prepare for citizenship, and simply to become an integral part of a wonderful, loving, productive community. It is exactly what we need wherever there are people eager to learn and grow and contribute to society.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

stories I've heard and read.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

MCIF gives the community of Bushwick hope. NYC can be an overwhelming place for New Yorkers, for the newly arrived it can be unimaginably difficult to navigate - from riding the subway to going to the doctor. MCIF gives immigrants a chance to improve, create a better life for themselves and their families.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

It's amazing to see how engaged the women who walk into MCIF are.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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