The Catholic Charities El Centro adult education program has long recognized the interdependence of English language learning and continued education for economic fortitude. Founded in 1957, El Centro was among the first programs in the state to provide ESOL classes for adult immigrants. Over the years, the program has helped thousands of people to adjust in their new home country: to learn the language and culture, to find jobs, to become responsible members of the community.
El Centro is consistently rated in the very top tier of adult ESOL programs in the state. The program provides six levels of ESOL instruction from beginning to advanced, targeted Math instruction for students in search of college education, Distance Learning for working adults with busy life schedules, and transition to college services. Boston area immigrants from over 15 countries enroll in classes each year to learn English for a variety of purposes from getting a job to getting into college. Classes are free of charge, and the program is open to anyone who wants to learn, without restrictions on residency, immigration status, age, or language proficiency level.
- Since July 2016, El Centro placed about 60 working adults in college and serious vocational training programs. This is about 20% of all people the program has served during that time. The program strives to bring students from the lowest levels of English language learning to college and workforce readiness. Most El Centro students graduating from the highest level start the program at low levels and move up.
- In 2017, El Centro received the Outstanding Community Partner award from the highly competitive Year Up program where our young adult graduates will be trained IT, Software Quality Assurance, Finance – fields that ensure excellent career prospects.
- El Centro students have access to Catholic Charities child care services, legal assistance, shelters, etc.
El Centro is a community that helps adult immigrants develop, understand, learn, move ahead, and sustain motivation. As our graduate currently in college said in her commencement speech, “You need somebody to support you. You simply can’t continue without somebody standing by you. I know I can always count on El Centro.”