Washington, D.C. – Washington English Center (WEC) is toasting the volunteers who make WEC the Washington area’s premier nonprofit offering affordable English language classes and job-training for immigrants. For the past 26 years, WEC has been providing English language classes to thousands of students, improving their career prospects and livelihoods while enriching and uplifting the entire community. At the front lines are its dedicated volunteers, who in one year alone, contributed over 47,000 hours of their time.
“From the beginning, our mission has been to empower immigrants by offering excellent, inexpensive ESL training, “said Elizabeth Tisdale, Chair of the Board of Directors, and a volunteer teacher herself. “More recently we have expanded our course offerings to include certification programs in hospitality, food handling, and the office environment. We are proud to provide literacy education and workforce training that make immigrants’ lives better. This year, over 400 volunteer teachers and job coaches worked with 1800 students. Our students have come from 100 different countries.”
WEC provides ESL classes, plus workforce readiness, computer literacy, and citizenship preparation programs from beginner to advanced, weekdays, evenings, and on weekends. Ms. Tisdale was also pleased to note that the Catalogue for Philanthropy has once again named WEC one of the best nonprofits in the DC region.
WEC’s unique model relies on a dedicated corps of 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 Joan Kerrigan, Vice Chair the Board of Directors and a volunteer teacher. “Without their tireless efforts, we would not have been able to serve our students for 26 years. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with so many extraordinary volunteers who inspire our students every day.”
WEC will be celebrating its volunteers on May 13 at a cocktail reception at the Arena Stage’s Mead Center from 6:30-8:30 pm. Among the celebrations, there will be testimonials from current students and recognition of all volunteers, past and current. In addition to recognizing all our volunteers through the years, we will be holding a fundraising auction to raise much needed resources to support our students and the school.