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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The staff of the center is extremely supportive of the community. Through the language and GED classes that are needed so much with such a diverse and changing population, the Center enables its students to change their lives. Over and over, I've seen education change the direction of a students life, allowing them new opportunities. It would be great if the center was able to do more - they need a building, frankly. The volunteers they have are excellent, but it would be great if they could do more outreach to bring in more volunteers.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experiencia about in this Center is:
I feel more certaindy,more conford because I anderstand and speak
English.In I was loock a job is more better for my.and my life to.
And I feel good in this Center because I have many oportunities.
Thank you.
Mr Aaron Corbin.




Client Served

Rating: 5

I Am Feel happy to know this center ; because the teaching in this
center is very well. They teachers are excelent and has patience
and comunication with the students also to explain the class
very well .

. .

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello my name is Gabriela Fernandez. I'm a student at the MCIF center in class level 2. My experience at MCIF is very good. My mind is clear and I understand what people say when they speak to me. Honestly I feel fine with the MCIF center it gives me security and I have time to study. The center has different people to come in and talk abaut problems that I may have.

Client Served

Rating: 5

During seasontime in the MCIF Center .I understand more English before I came here. Now I can read,speak more better English.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My personal experience about the center.
I like M.C.I. Because has given me the opportunity, to lear .English
with other people from diferent,nation and religion.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience about this center I feel confident because now I can speak
more english and understand and
I have more opportunity to study.

Client Served

Rating: 5

my experience in this to have opportunities meet other culturals and people. also that there are oeople who like to help others without anything in return.

Client Served

Rating: 5

MCIF Center is a beatiful center. The teachers are very nice, and very professioal. I feel very good at the MCIF center.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My expirence is very good because I'm thankful for mcIF bringing me the opportunity the learn English

Client Served

Rating: 5

My Experience about MCIF center is nice . Bicause I`m Learning English ,computacion, manualities,GED. Thankyou for all MCIF center.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The center help me to speak clearly
and understand more enghish in my life.
now I watch more programs in english.
Before I didn' watch programs in english
Now I read the newspaper in english

Client Served

Rating: 5

My personal experience about the center is :
I feel well because I am learning Engles and and computer.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am happy about this program because you can share with more people and I saw with the center helpful me.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have alot of experience at this center because I have more opportunities in my life to understand English.
This center has different programs to help people.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am feel very happy in this Center, because my teacher and my classmates are very helpful to me.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came to this school because, I want to speak English and help
my children with their homework. Also the class and my teacher is a very good person.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was very happy for tha opportunity that was given to me to learn English at the maura-klarke ita ford center. My experience is very good.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came here because one my friends studied here and she said it was very good and is to close may aparment naw I can to ask questions on the s.t so I'm happy in my jop because now I can to make people tolk with cooks, waiter whit everyyone I'm feel will in the school is not too spensive, the class are interesting the teacher is to patient. I think what we need to get out in groups for practice our english.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I like everything at m.c.i.f.
I took english to read and to speak english read and to
Speak better.
I have been in n. y, for a long time and
Did not speak perfect english.
I would change the school by a doing
An elebator and and have at diferent times for
The techer's for ekample fron lunch
To 6.p.m . or 8. p,m, becouse I need to work.

i TOOK ENGLISH TO READ AND TO SPEAK BETTER.
i HAVE BEEN IN N.Y. FOR A LONG TIME AND DID NOT SPEAK
pERFECT ENGLISH.
I WOLD CHANGE THE SCHOOL BY A DOING ON ELEVATOR AND
HAVE AT DIFERENTE TIMES FOR THE TICHER'S FOR EXAMPLE
FOR LUNCHE TO 6 P.M. OR 8.P.M. BECOUSE I NEED TO WORK.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I like the school because it is has very good the teachers. I practice English sentenses and study my book. My friend Jetssia speaks Engish to me.My teacher speaks English and we to practice words and write test. I like the school because it is very good for me. I can help my children with their homework. With his books, write sentenses and when we have a apoiment for the Dentis and Doctors.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I like this school because it is good. The education is important for my personal life. The teacher is a good person. I need to learn English beacause I have children, they a need help for school. I am thankful that this school existed.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I come to this school because I want to speak English and help my children on threir homeworks, Also the class and my teacher is very good person.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'am at the school, because some people said to me that there was
English class.
I like these school because we speak only English and I have been learnig and writing moreEnglish. I have been here for 2 years in this school is very good.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came here because my friends studied here , and said
it was a very good .
I'm happy for tha opportunity that was given to me Speak
and learn English at MCI.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I chose this school because a friend recommended and it is near my house. And I want to learn English to communicate with the teacher of my son and why it matters in this country speak English.
Listen

Client Served

Rating: 5

My personal experience at MCIF.
My friend is studing English at MCIF. She told me about the school. For me it is very important to learn English,because it is necesary in the United States to speak English.I like the school the education is very good,and so are the other classes ex:computer class,handicrafts,English computer.
I will recommend this place to my friends.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I choose mcif,because I was at another school and some one suggested this school because the other school was closing.

I arrived here and did a review and passed at level 1B with Niger. The teacher is a good person and very good teacher.

I liked the school because the school has a system very good to learn, the teachers make me feel comfortable and the students are very friendly. I learned much in this school.

This is my opinion about the school thank you.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My personal experience at MCIF center has been beautiful. The school is
big ,confurtable.
My teachers are very nice.Sometimes I don't understand too much English.
My classmates are very good friends. We always try to help ourselfs and share everything

Thank you

Client Served

Rating: 5

I chose this school because a friend recommended it to me,also because it is near to my house,also the schudele of class is very good,and I have time for work. My English has improved sinse i came to MCIF, but I need to improved much more.

James N.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Maura Clarke-Ita Ford Center does extremely important work in the community. It can be very difficult to take on a new experience and keep one's personal integrity. MCIF Center Inc. helps people to make those transitions in their lives.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

For me, I have had a good experience because I have a lot of friens and better comunication with the other people in the class ,I feel good because the teacher teach very vell.

Client Served

Rating: 5

MY personal experince is now I know little bitmore english than before. It helps me wherever I go.

Client Served

Rating: 4

The MCIF center is important because it helps many immigrants that don"t have sufficient money to pay a private school and this center gives then the opprtunity to study free.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For me ,I have had a good experience because I have a lot of friends and better comunication with the other people, in the class . I feell good because the teacher is very nice she explans very well .

Client Served

Rating: 5

This Center is good for me because i want to learn English.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I hava been at the center for a short time. It helped me a lot knowing more english.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My personal opinion is
The center is good because MCIF helps me a lot. When I came here Iwas afraid because I didn't know anything about English. I didn't understand. I couldn't speak. I couldn't write and read. Now I can to do all of them, not to much, but more than before.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience is good.I feel comfortable and happy because I am learning English.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I feel good . The experience is interesting. I think my teacher is patient.Now i understand and speak moro.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experince at the center has been marvelous , I am learning speak English and share with other people from different countries.
My teachers are excelent people with everybody and they help us.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In my life,I can see many changes I can speak English much better in my job.And I can communicate with my boss and my friends.Ad when I go to the hospital too.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In this center I feel good. I think that I can learn English and I can Speak better.