Mission Statement

We are a learning community of refugees, immigrants, and advocates.

Our mission is building knowledge for better lives and livelihoods.


English Learning Center Stories

ELC volunteer teacher Lydia

Why I Teach at the ELC

“I don’t think I truly understood the impact of my work at the ELC  until I went to the DMV to get a Minnesota driver’s license about two months ago…” Every Tuesday evening, Lydia and her co-teacher, Nancy, spend two hours teaching English to the students pictured here. Lydia started volunteering at the ELC in…

Women Rising

Women Rising

“I don’t want [my girl] to be like me, you know? I want her to have an education. To go to college.” Girls are defined by more than just the number of years they spend in school. They have families, work, ideas, and dreams. But the amount of education they receive is often the key…

Boosteeyo gets her citizenship

Congratulations, Boosteeyo!

“Now I am so happy to be a citizen. I can sleep better and am less stressed. In one month, I will go to London to visit family!” Spend time at the English Learning Center, and Boosteeyo Ahmed is likely one of the first students you will get to know. Always ready with a smile,…

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Learning for a Better Life

“Not knowing English made me feel like I didn’t know anything or how to make a better life.” Ugas began studying at the English Learning Center last September in level 4 English and math. And while he might be newer to the school, he’s quickly become a vibrant part of our community. Most often, you…

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

Emily Volunteer English Teacher

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