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The Maura Clarke-Ita Ford (MCIF) Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult Education, Education, Job Training

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

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

116 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MCIF, The Maura Clarke - Ita Ford Center, is truly changing the lives of immigrants. MCIF is helping individuals to improve their own lives, by giving them the tools for a better life. Those that participate at the Maura Clarke - Ita Ford Center leave with hope and the opportunity for success. I have been impressed that MCIF does so much good, with limited resources. The focus of the agency is helping those that walk through the doors. If there were more Nonprofits like the Maura Clarke - Ita Ford Center, the world would be a better place.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The community that the MCIF Center has built is incredible. It's a veritable one-stop-shop for immigrant families. Siblings, friends, and strangers alike come here to improve themselves, becoming citizens, learning English, and learning other life skills. And the caliber of instruction is unparalleled in such a setting. The instructors are not only passionate about their participants and the subject, but they have experience, most holding Masters degrees. I've worked with a lot of non-profits in Brooklyn and while it may be a small operation, it's as effective as anything out there.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MCIF is an incredible community resource! Through GED, Citizenship and leveled English classes, MCIF provides a wide range of educational opportunities to empower communities members in the greater Bedstuy/Bushwick area. Through personalized attention and a strong sense of community, MCIF creates a space were student thrive. As I English teacher at MCIF I saw my students grow immensely. With the confidence they gained through improving their English and being a part of the community they attained better jobs and were able to better advocate for their children in school.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I taught at the MCIF Center for a year and have continued to volunteer since. The MCIF Center is a wonderful resource for the greater Bushwick community; from the English classes to GED and computer literacy courses, MCIF helps the women and men who attend better engage in their communities. Further, the leaders of MCIF have a deep commitment to helping students find other resources. The students themselves are an inspiration, as they commit not only to juggling classes with parenthood, work, and family obligations, but also work together to fight for community causes, like park improvements. It is such a privilege to be a part of the greater MCIF community!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

i would like to give a review of the MCIF center, this non profit is not only helping the latino community become more active in being part of the community learning options but it is changing lives. i have a few friends that are attending classes and they have great feedback about MCIF, such as they feel like they finally have a great place local in brooklyn to further their language education with great teachers. i refer and recommend all my latino friends to be a part of MCIF activities, and i would like to see this place to continue to grow. Thanks to the education program, latinos are being given more chances in jobs thanks to their growing knowledge in the language and helping families become more unified. i can't wait to gather some friends to volunteer at this center in the nearby future and for more years to come!

sincerely,
brooklyn resident

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked in close partnership with MCIF to improve the neighborhood for the past two years. In this role I work with many MCIF participants, the vast majority of whom speak very highly of the program. MCIF is a place where participants stay for several years, and go from having minimal English skills, to being able to communicate effectively. In addition, MCIF offers other programs, besides ESL, that students take advantage of, including: nutrition classes, GED preparation, computer classes, and leadership training. Maybe most importantly, at MCIF participants develop strong relationships with one another and their instructors, making the center memorable for everyone involved.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been the Head Instructor at MCIF for over a year, and I was drawn to this organization because of its community-centered environment. The Center not only offers a range of classes (ESL, GED, citizenship, computer, and entrepreneurship), but also brings in outside resources and workshops for students such as nutrition classes, legal assistance, and safety presentations. Students participate in regular celebrations, a weekly flea market, and have a daily coffee break during which they mingle with students from the different ESL classes. The Center even has a student council - elected by peers - that works to communicate about issues and events related to the school. We have a dedicated staff who, due to the consistent work hours and paid staff meeting time, really get to operate as a team. It's a fabulous place that deserves all the support it can get.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I joined MCIF as an instructor recently, and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career as an educator so far. Coming from a large organization to a small one was a significant change, but the staff and students at MCIF have made my transition easy. The students have been especially welcoming, and I continue to be inspired by their dedication and passion. MCIF is definitely a leader in the field of ESL education.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MCIF Center uses a holistic model to teach the students they serve. Not only, do they work on the rules of grammar, but also on incorporating the social aspect of the English language. Keep up the great work!

Donor

Rating: 5

MCIF provides a valuable and timely solution to citizens and new comers in developing their English language skills. The methodologies used by MCIF are time tested and quantifiable. It is important to note that as American citizenship issues of documented and undocumented individuals work their way toward a solution with an English language requirement that MCIF is currently positioned to provide that service. Equally as important is that individuals in the program become more culturally assimilated, have better job opportunities, can help their children with school language arts and gain more confidence in their understanding or our society.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I don't know of any other ESL program in Brooklyn that serves the whole immigrant student by providing not only 5 levels of English instruction but also crucial information and resources to establish a productive life in the U.S. This should be a model for other ESL programs around the country, and it's doing it on a shoestring budget. The dedication of the staff and solidarity of the student body sets this school apart from any other I'm familiar with.

Chris  Morrison

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Toby T.

Donor

Rating: 5

MCIF is a wonderful organization that helps its students not only learn English, but how to function in everyday life in New York. Teaching life skills beyond English comprehension gives their students a better chance to find employment during these tough economic times. MCIF integrated excellent traditional classroom environments with modern computer classes that teach practical real world skills. It is a great nonprofit with a wonderful history of helping the local Brooklyn Community.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

New York City needs more places like The Maura Clarke-Ita Ford (MCIF) Center!!!

As women come to the US and begin their news lives they sometimes need new skills to help make them successful - that is what this country is all about. Education is the tool all humans need to succeed and a center like this one is the best part of humanity.

Teaching English, learning new revenue sources to provide for their families, and participating in their communities are the backbone of the United States and The Maura Clarke-Ita Ford (MCIF) Center is an incredible example for us all.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As Program Manager of People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos, it is a great pleasure to write a review in support of the Maura Clarke-Ita Ford Center. Our program, a grassroots project based on literature directed to adults who have not had the opportunity to access formal education, has greatly benefited from our partnership with the MCIF in several ways. We have witnessed the breath and quality of their programs through our contact with their clients, as well as their great work on behalf of the community. We have worked with groups of adults in their ESL classes for many years. Because our program is based on the reading aloud and discussion of literary short stories—including Gabriel García Márquez and James Joyce among others—we have been able to evaluate the importance of MCIF´s efforts in teaching and promoting reading, the acquisition of the English language, as well as other cultural, linguistic and educational tools with programs that help immigrants succeed in this country. The MCIF provides us with great support, and the participants in turn are able to benefit from the contact with classic writers where they could express their inner wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the texts through their own life experiences. It has enabled us to value MCIF´s focus on the fact that people will learn more readily and enthusiastically if the learning process brings about greater self-confidence. The programs at the MCIF have contributed to their clients’ successful outcome in their classes and in life, motivating them and improving their communication skills. The Center and their staff have a shortage of basic needs that are important to maintain their status of excellence. We believe the MCIF should be granted all the possible means to continue their good work and their contribution to a more just society. People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos support them fully.


Alma Concepción
Project Manager
People and Stories-Gente y Cuentos
(609) 213-3039

Board Member

Rating: 4

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm proud to say that my best friend works for the Maura Clarke-Ita Ford Center. The Maura Clarke-Ita Ford Center is a very important resource for Brooklyn women who are immigrants to the United States. It not only helps them learn proper English, it helps them assimilate to our culture. The women that work at MCIFC are extremely dedicated to their work, often working on weekends and after hours to make sure they do the best job they can. They empower non-native women to get out and explore their new environments and become part of their communities. The center therefore not only benefits these women, but also their neighborhoods and communities. Many women are single mothers and would be unable to support their families without the help of MCIFC. The service they provide is invaluable to the community of Brooklyn.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I visited this center and went to a fund raiser. I saw the people that were served in the community and how proud they were about their accomplishments. They were learning English and helping their families learn English too.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The Mira Clarke-Ita Ford Center is an inspiration for anyone involved in development work. I found it while working to improve our local women's community center. The staff was very helpful in answering my questions and the center is a model for work we would like to do in our own community.