Washington English Center: 25 Years of Improving the Lives of Immigrants through Education

 Immigration   Sun, May 20, 2018 09:20 PM

WASHINGTON, DC  – Washington English Center (formerly Language ETC) is looking forward to celebrating its 25thanniversary on Tuesday, May 22, 6:30 – 8:30 pm! It will be a festive opportunity to mingle with supporters, dignitaries,meet visionary founding board members, and hear from current and former students about the impact Washington English Center (WEC) has had in helping them build their lives in America. We hope attendees will be inspired and moved.

During the program, there is an exciting opportunity for guests to help our students succeed by participating in a Fund Our Future paddle raise auction. Proceeds will support:

·  workforce development programs to enable students access to improved employment prospects

·  improved educational technology in the classroom for an enhanced learning experience

·  supplemental programs in local service fairs, conversation clubs, class field trips, book clubs, and a student chorus to create a stronger sense of community

We are delighted to announce that Father John Enzler, President and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, will take a featured role as auctioneer for this event.

Founded by Puerto Rican native Pilar Laugel, WEC started with 200 students, and now serves 1700 students a year from over 90 countries. “For 25 years, our mission has been to empower immigrants by offering excellent, reasonably priced ESL training,” said Gabriela Mossi, WEC’s Executive Director.  “More recently we have expanded our course offerings to include certification programs in hospitality, food handling, and the office environment. As a result, I am pleased to say that last year 125 participants in our job readiness program found jobs.”

WEC helps adult immigrants overcome the primary barrier they face in trying to make a better life for themselves and their families -  speaking English. WEC provides ESL classes, from beginner to advanced, plus workforce readiness, computer literacy and citizenship preparation programs, six days a week, at night, and on weekends. WEC’s unique model relies on a dedicated corps of over 350 volunteer teachers, tutors and job coaches who provided over $1 million worth of teaching hours last year. “The key to our success is our volunteers,” said Stephanie Lawson, Chair of the Board of Directors, and a volunteer teacher herself.  “Without their tireless efforts we would not have been able to serve our students for 25 years.”  

WEC will be celebrating this milestone at the Mead Center for American Theater, home of Arena Stage, on May 22. The event is being generously sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, Heritage Financial Consultants, Long & Foster | Christie's International Real Estate, Savant Capital Management, TTR | Sotheby's International Realty.  To purchase tickets, visit: www.WashingtonEnglish.org

Washington English Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. It has operated at 2200 California Street, NW, since 1993.

José Antonio Fernandez media@washingtonenglish.org 202-387-2222