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Immigrant Learning Center Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult Education, Education, Ethnic & Immigrant Centers, Human Services, Immigration

Mission: The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) of Malden, MA, is a not-for-profit organization that helps immigrants and refugees become successful workers, parents and community members through direct service programs and public education. Our direct service program provides free year-round English classes to immigrant and refugee adults in Greater Boston. The ILC further supports immigrants through the Public Education Institute, which informs Americans about the economic and social contributions of immigrants in our society.

Results: We help more than 900 immigrant and refugee adults learn English each year and have served more than 8,000 since our inception. By improving their English skills, ILC students achieve goals such as finding a job, entering college, starting a business, becoming a U.S. citizen and more. Our Public Education Institute uses a research-based approach to create reports, articles, presentations and conferences for researchers, educators, policy makers, media and the general public. It has published ten studies about Massachusetts immigrants as entrepreneurs, workers and consumers, and a book titled "Immigrant Struggles, Immigrant Gifts" about U.S. immigration.

Programs: Our direct services include six levels of intensive English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes, citizenship exam preparation, computer literacy, family literacy (parenting-related English lessons) and a theater class where students write and perform plays about their immigrant experiences. Our Public Education Institute uses a research-based approach to create reports, articles, presentations and conferences for researchers, educators, policy makers, media and the general public.

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 5

As a former teacher & board member of the ILC (1994--2002), I am honored to continue support through donations. During my service there, I saw first hand how exceptional this organization is: the leadership is strong & visionary; staff is highly competent & compassionate; classes are rich in experience & info; and the students not only progress well with their English, but also with their abilities to navigate American systems. The efficiency of the ILC is exemplary as well: monetary donations are carefully &well used; there are absolutely no excesses in expenditures. Finally, the ILC continues to evolve, expand in resources, & to grow in numbers of students. The organization is truly a role model for other schools & nonprofits in general.
J Seymour

1 Diane50

Board Member

Rating: 5

The "ILC" has such a positive vibe. The students, teachers and volunteers are so glad to be there. It is a welcoming place, where students can gain confidence in the English language and the culture.
I am also a volunteer Wednesday mornings before work and I count that 90 minutes as the highpoint of the week.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Immigrant Learning Center is life-changing for those who come to learn English and for those who volunteer. There is a wonderful spirit and excitement in the classrooms and throughout the building. The students are respected and they are respectful and appreciative. Some of them even come back to become tutors or assistants.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Immigrant Learning Center is an amazing school. People from different countries study English in this place. I was a student and a short time volunteer and I would like to say "Thank you " my teachers and the students for this opportunity, help, knowledge and great atmosphere. I nave the great memories about time I have spent in ILC.

1 Sandra49

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough wonderful things about The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. It's an amazing place!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the most professional and dedicated nonprofit I've ever volunteered for. The staff not only diligently teaches ESL, but they mentor the students, answer their questions, offer very helpful advice, and build the students' confidences to help them seek full-time employment. In addition, the ILC teaches a naturalization course to immigrants who qualify to help them successfully pass the citizenship test and become US citizens. It takes professional educators who are wholly devoted to making sure newcomers to these shores are educated in precise English so they can make a decent living and be proud of themselves. Even the Director refuses to take a salary. Her reward is the satisfaction of knowing that the ILC staff is one of the Boston area's finest institutions. The students really appreciate and look forward to their time with the teachers. It is an honor and a privilege to help ensure a peaceful transition to these future Americans.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ILC is great placed. It's great to learn USA culture plus English courses. they have great crew. I really love this place and advice any new immigrant to be there.
Thank you for everyone participate to be part from this organization.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The ILC's mission is to promote immigrants as assets to our country. They empower students with the tools necessary to become confident, fullfilled and productive members of our diverse communities. The school provides a safe and supportive environment to countless students who are eager to learn and give back. In my opinion, and as an immigrant myself, the ILC is a springboard to living and achieveing the american dream.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

when I was a student in Immigrant Learning Center in 2010, people there gave me a lot of help. Teachers were patient, nice and responsible, every staff was nice and enthusiastic. Students got everything free in the school, including materials, notebooks, even pens. I definitely believe the school is fulfilling with love. In 2012, I went back to the school became a volunteer. I hope my patient and nice could help more and more people who want to start their new lives in US. I have been involved in a survey of opinion from students. I was not surprised that the most answers for the question "what else do you think our school need to be improved" is "No, everything is great". And the most answer for the question "how do you think the school" is "I love my teachers, I love the school".

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a mission driven organization focused on serving its students and educating the public. The team is professional, hard working and deserves a lot of credit for running an efficient, well managed program. Too often, nonprofits struggle with the business fundamentals on fundraising, budgeting, and expense controls. The ILC management team is extraordinarily good at the business side of running the program.

The program itself is lfe changing for the students and has helped fill a huge void in public opinion around how immigrants make meaningful contributions to society.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Immigrant Learning Center is a terrific organization. From the mission of the org to the high quality staff, the ILC is professionally run, mission focused and on solid financial footing. What is even more impressive is the waiting list it maintains for students. The desire for services far outweigh the need. Finally, I have been impressed how the school, primarily focused on student education, saw a need and transformed itself to a wider mission: education of the public about the contributions of immigrants, when it became vogue to engage in immigrant bashing. This is a great organization.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The teaching staff demonstrates great expertise and patients with language learners. Just as important, in my point of view, is that this is not a cold institution but one where students feel welcomed, supported, and valued as individuals. Since an important part of the immigrant experience is feeling lost and isolated in a new country, I think the atmosphere at ILC helps alleviate that anxiety.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer tutor here for several years. The entire staff has always been tremendously supportive of my efforts, which I really appreciate. There are some organizations that tend to ignore their volunteers--not this one. I think the best thing about them is their genuine passion for their mission--they are out to help immigrants operate in America both culturally and linguistically, and I know the students view the Immigrant Learning Center as a safe haven where their beginning English skills are cultivated and not mocked, their work ethic is acknowledged, and their culture is respected, all while encouraging them to integrate in Boston's culture. I look forward to many years ahead of tutoring students for the ILC. A final note I'll add is that my work schedule changes periodically, which impacts when I can do tutoring, and the ILC has always been very understanding and accommodating of that.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was so excited to be a part of this great organization. The mission of the Immigrant Learning Center is an admirable one. It is amazing how nice and genuine everyone is, from the office staff to the teachers and other volunteers to the students, everyone is so welcoming from the moment they meet you. This was one of the most rewarding things I have done and would do it again in a heartbeat.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have deep admiration for the founders of this organization whose goals are to assist immigrants with their assimilation into American culture and to educate us on the contributions of immigrants to our society. I am proud to say that I have been a board member for many years.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I retired and moved back to the Malden area I wanted to find a volunteer opportunity where I would feel that my time was well-used. I have definitely found that at the Immigrant Learning Center where I have volunteered now for 4 years. This is the best place I could imagine where immigrants are given the gift of the English language and in return they give the gift of determination, perseverance, and gratefulness. At the beginning of each semester, Diane Portnoy, the school's founder and director, introduces herself to each new class and tells them her immigration story. She then asks each student to introduce themselves and say where they have come from. She acknowledges their courage and determination and thanks them for being here in the U.S. and helping to make a difference.
As a volunteer at Level 1 English, I participate as an aide to the instructor as students progress from the very earliest steps in learning English to a place where they are more comfortable and confident as they move on to the higher levels of competency. I also work one-on-one with individual students which gives me an opportunity to reinforce their classroom learning and get to know individual students and their stories. It is always rewarding and humbling.
Another aspect of this school that always impresses me is that many former students return to volunteer their time as a way of paying back and paying forward for all that they have been given.
I believe that the Immigrant Learning Center is a model for what this country should strive to offer all immigrants to help them feel welcomed and valued in our country.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for fifteen years and a Board member for several years. I came as a favor to assist a friend who teaches here. I thought I might try it for a few weeks and have never left. The students are wonderful.....eager, courageous,and committed. The Director knows firsthand the challenges the ILC students face and has created a focused learning environment which provides students with the skills to survive in their new world and to adapt and grow. As a Board member I see Diane's effort and planning to create this environment and her desire to expand general awareness of the important role of the immigrant ,past and present, in the United States

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Dedicated, disciplined, with clear vision and ability to deliver. Combines service delivery and knowledge production in a unique and productive way.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Immigrant Learning Center in Malden provides an invaluable service to the state of Massachusetts. The teaching of English to recent immigrants not only helps them find employment, but benefits their families and communities alike. I have been volunteering there for about 5 years now, and take great satisfaction knowing that I'm making a difference in people's lives through this terrific group. Every major city in the U.S. needs an organization like this.

1 Margaret B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The ILC is an amazing place, and I've been very happy volunteering there for the past 3 1/2 years. Every member of the staff is extremely dedicated, available to help or guide the students not only in learning English, but also to help them find the services they need for housing, job training, legal issues and more. I help the students with questions about words or phrases they don't understand, help them with pronunciation, spelling and also answer questions about facets of American culture they don't under- stand. I feel that I am also representing a welcoming America, something they don't always experience in daily life. In return, I am rewarded by the most genuine appreciation and smiles. From the students I have learned more about different cultures, languages, foods, religions. I am able to use what I have learned when I interact with any of the many immigrants in my community who work in local businesses. I truly feel that the ILC, its staff and especially the students have given me much, much more than simply the experience of being a volunteer. I love this place!

1 R Edward B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Immigrant Learning Center Inc. (ILC) in Malden, Massachusetts, is a wonderful organization of dedicated teachers and students. Currently serving approximately 400 students from around the world, the ILC has a waiting list for students of up to ten months, due to the high demand for its services by the immigrant community. The ILC's English-immersion program provides instruction known as "English for Speakers of Other Languages" (ESOL) rather than "English as a Second Language" (ESL), wisely acknowledging that many ILC students enter the ILC already speaking, writing, and reading two or more languages before they begin learning English. Many ILC, students, particularly women, lacked the opportunity to receive any formal education whatsoever before entering the ILC. ILC instruction develops student competency in speaking, writing, and reading English. As I begin my seventh month as a volunteer, I consider myself most fortunate to be a part of this stellar organization!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The ILC has helped over 7,000 immigrants learn English since opening in 1992. Their mission has always been to provide free English classes to immigrant and refugee adults so they can lead productive lives in the U. S. and become successful workers, parents and community members. They also help educate the public that immigrants are assets to America. All classes are free. By improving their English skills, ILC students achieve goals such as finding a job, entering college, starting a business, becoming a U.S. citizen and more. Walking through the school and seeing students from different countries with varied cultures becoming friends as they learn the language of their adopted country always puts a smile on my face. The Immigrant Learning Center is a wonderful organization that helps many people.

1 Judith15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at the ILC for just a few weeks. The ILC does amazing work in helping people become literate in English. The students are hungry to learn and very gracious to the teachers and volunteers. Being a volunteer is the most rewarding work I have done since teaching middle-grades students in Arkansas. As I have the opportunity to spend more time at the ILC, I feel my contribution will grow.