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 have been a member of the board since 2006 and chair since 2008. The Maura Clarke-Ita Ford Center is an "under the radar" organization that accomplishes a great deal with limited resources. The center provides vital services to the Bushwick community - English as a Second Language Classes, Pre-GED and GED classes, Citizen classes, job training and empowerment seminars. I am very proud to be a part of the organization.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The Maura Clarke-Ita Ford Center is a grass roots organization founded in 1993, serving the immigrant population In Bushwick. it is a dynamic center that provides educational services, job training and life skills , enabling its participants to become economically independent and active in their community. It has been lots of hard work as chair of the board but very rewarding.

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

I attend the graduation ceremony each year and am quite proud of our participants success.

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

Establish greater financial support.

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Rating: 4 stars  

My Name is Alejandra Matos, I came from the
Dominican Republic. I was student at MCIF center. When I finish my classes in the center I went to Boricua College to get an Associate degree and at the same time became a assistant teacher at MCIF and few months later I became a 1st level English teacher and a GED Instructor.
In 1999, I got my citizenship and I start working as a Finance Assistant at Providence House.
One Day Sister Mary Burns came and offered me the opportunity to belong to the Board of Directors of MCIF. For me was incredible; a place where I went to learn English and Where I got my first Job in the United States is giving me the oportnunity to be a Board member.
Today I'm a Proud Board Member of this magnificent organization called MCIF center, a place knowing as community resource to learn English and diferent skills as a GED, and computer.

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

I'm an Immigrant that went to this school and had the oportunity to learn English, Computer and some skills to set up my life.

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

I woul to get a place where they don't have to be worry about paying montlhly rent.

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Maura Clarke-Ita Ford center is named after my sister who was murdered in El Salvador in 1980 while she was distributing food and clothing to the poor. The program comtinues her good work by assisting and empowering women of Brooklyn.
The women learn English, a new trade or profession, and in general are helped to find employment and become active participants in the American life. Words cannot describe the wonderful work this program does.

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

The many women I come in contact with inspire me and and empower me to beleive my sister's good work lives on in Brooklyn.

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

Expand!

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Rating: 5 stars  

One of the biggest highlights of each year is to see 120 students walk across the stage at ESL graduation. As each student passes across the stage, it represents a step in their individual journeys to be more economically successful and independent, providing a better life for themselves and their families.

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

As our students continue on to find succes, I see it manifested in many ways. A married father of two receives his GED, helping him find better employment. A mother is able to communicate with her child's teacher. A single woman becomes a U.S. citizen.

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

We have a waiting list of over 50 students who want to attend but we just don't have the funding to hire the additional teachers. I would add more teachers and more classes to give others the opportunity to participate.

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Review from Guidestar
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  

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: 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  

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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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

Obtaining a strong educational base is perhaps one of the most important skill sets that can help any individual succeed in this country. Particularly since a strong foundation can ultimately lead to employment and economic independence. MCIF provides the necessary life skills to the diverse immigrant community enabling the group to independently enrich their lives and ultimately enrich their neighborhood too. As a board member of MCIF I am very proud to see the important and meaningful impact/services the center provides to the broader Bushwick community and I am equally proud of the unrelenting hard work the staff puts into making the center a success.

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

Develop a modern facility and hire a larger staff enabling the center to assist a larger pool of students. This in turn could have an even larger positive impact on the surrounding community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I have been a member of the board since 2006 and Chair of the board since 2008. I have been amazed by the dedication and drive of the staff and the desire and determination of the participants. MCIF supports the Bushwick community and helps to improve the lives of hundreds of immigrants everyday. Providing educational services and job readiness skills enables participants to empower themselves and achieve economic independence for themselves and their families.

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

seeing the successful results for many of our participants and the confidence they develop along the way.

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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