News & Updates
Friday, March 17, 2023

New El Centro Adult Education Center in Jamaica Plain to Open Next Week with Expanded Services

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Catholic Charities Boston’s new El Centro Adult Education Center will take place Thursday, March 23 at 10 a.m. with the speaking program beginning at 10:30 a.m. Located at 1785 Columbus Avenue in Jamaica Plain, the newly renovated space offers state-of-the-art technology, college-level classes, and computer access for all students.

Students who have attended El Centro will be in attendance, as well as Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, who will give brief remarks.

“El Centro is a vital community resource and this is a wonderful home for our program as we continue to grow and expand our services,” said Kevin M. MacKenzie, President and CEO of Catholic Charities Boston. “Supporting our English learners is essential if we are to uplift communities and help people get on pathways to success.”

For more than 60 years, El Centro has provided intensive, results-oriented English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes to adult immigrants in the Greater Boston area, the majority who come from low-income backgrounds and have just recently arrived in the United States. In addition to helping students improve their English-speaking skills, free of charge, El Centro’s staff is also dedicated to equipping students with the skills they need to succeed in taking their next step, whether that be attending college or entering a high-demand career field.

With Massachusetts being a leader in the technology industry, and El Centro being nationally recognized for its career services, El Centro has created an IT/Cyber Security training that will offer its ESOL students a pathway into highly sought after careers in technology.

“For many of our students, educational attainment is much more than improved job prospects: it means a newly found self-respect, a personal accomplishment and a dream come true,” said Marianna Geraskina, El Centro’s Director of Education.

With spacious classrooms and conference rooms overlooking the Boston skyline, computers for every student, and a smartboard in every classroom, the new space is just a short walk from the MBTA’s Orange Line and just a few steps from Jackson Square. For those who are unnable to attend classes in person, there will be a Zoom room, allowing students to participate in a hybrid-flexible curriculum.

Whether students are taking classes remote or in person, El Centro’s staff said they are excited to offer ESOL learners an opportunity to cultivate a sense of community, in a beautiful space that will soon feel like home.

“The new building is designed and equipped to offer an equitable education that will help the people we serve to realize their potential as individuals and community members,” said Marianna.

Learn more about El Centro here or about how you can support El Centro and other Catholic Charities Boston programs on our Ways to Give page.

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