Latest OSCS Stories


Cruising to Minnesota

“Here is perfect. It’s the best place I’ve been in my life to learn.” By the time Dario arrived in Minnesota at the age of 25, he’d already traveled much of the world. On a cruise ship. Dario started working at a young age in his home country of the Dominican  Republic. School, he says,…

Rukhia's Story

Resilience: One Refugee’s Story

In the last 3 decades, Minnesota has resettled more than 95,000 refugees–the largest groups being Hmong, Somali, and Vietnamese. Among our students, roughly 70% arrived in the United States as refugees. On March 6, 2005, Rukhia left her home in Somalia to find work in Dubai. When her husband died while she was pregnant with…

Michael's Story

Homeless to Housed in 60 Days

“The deepest, darkest part of a man’s life is when he doesn’t know where he’s going to be or where he’s going to end up.” In November of the coldest winter in recent memory, Michael moved out of his apartment of six year, just barely avoiding formal eviction. As he closed his door for the…

What happiness is...

What happiness is…

This spring, we asked students, “What makes you happy?” Here’s a sample of what they said:   Evening English student, level 5/6 “Happiness is a necessary part of our life. When the wars and violence end, then the world is in peace. Then that will make people feel happy and relaxed. Happiness is when all…

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If we’re going to serve, we should do it year around. You don’t just care about someone once a year.

Joy Volunteer Breakfast Server

I really enjoy teaching and interacting with the students. Everyone at the English Learning Center Program brightens my day!

Emily Volunteer English Teacher

We are blessed to be involved… and we feel like we’re helping in some small way.

Dianna Volunteer Shelter Dinner Server

On the surface I help people balance their check book, understand their child’s math assignments, and ensure they can calculate simple financial transactions. But what I really do, what all tutors at the English Learning Center really do, is act as a guide. We guide people across a cultural bridge to a place very different from the one they have known their entire life. And though we ask nothing in return for our contribution to their journey, they pay us by giving us a better understanding of their culture and who they are.

Matt Volunteer Math Teacher