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Review for Immigrant Learning Center Inc, Malden, MA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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Role:  Volunteer