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Enterprising Women: Diane Portnoy and The Immigrant Learning Center

If you missed our kickoff lecture for our Enterprising Women series, you missed a wonderful evening hearing about the founding of the Immigrant Learning Center with Diane Portnoy. After experiencing life in Malden, MA as an immgrant herself, Portnoy wanted to open a free school where immigrants could learn English and build confidence and connections to support their new life. The center opened in 1992 and gives immigrants a voice in three ways. A staff of certified teachers offer an intensive ESL course. The Public Education Institute informs others about the plethora of contributions made by immigrants. The Institute for Immigration Research conducts research on the economic contributions of immigrants.

In less than 30 years, the ILC has grown from three classrooms serving 60 students to an entire building that serves 900. Since its inception, The ILC has served more than 9,500 immigrant adults from 122 countries who live in 92 Greater Boston communities. Portnoy shared the stories of the growth ILC and also immigrant success stories, with a special focus on enterprising women.

The most important takeaway was that immigrants are committed learners with determination to meet their goals.

If you’d like to learn more about the ILC and Diane’s legacy, check out this video.

If you’d like to learn more about our programs and commitment to support our local immigrant community, click here.

Date: February 5, 2020

Author: sperling

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