A father’s sacrifice pays off

AndreAndre recently stopped by The ILC to help a friend register for class and tell us what he’s been up to since he left us in 2012. In honor of the recent Father’s Day holiday, I’m sharing his story with you.

Prior to coming here, Andre had been successful in Haiti working as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and running a small transportation business, but the political instability made him worry about his kids and their future. Like so many other immigrants, he made the decision to start over in the United States for the sake of his children.

He remembers The ILC very fondly, saying “It was so great for me. Everybody was like family. When I first came, the students and teachers were my only friends.”

After learning English, Andre earned his commercial driver’s license and has been working as a truck driver ever since. It’s a good job that allows him to support his family here and relatives in Haiti.
His daughter is in high school, and his son starts his first year of college in the fall. Andre’s dream is that one day it will be his turn to go back to school so he can work as an EMT again.

Thank you for your ongoing support that makes stories like Andre’s possible.

Diane Portnoy







Diane Portnoy
Founder and CEO
The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.

Yasmine with ILC Founder Diane Portnoy
Yasmine with ILC Founder
Diane Portnoy

Thank You!

The ILC has a special thank you this month for Yasmine Sabri who interned with us this spring.  Students at Masconomet Regional High School must choose an internship for their final semester senior year. Yasmine chose The Immigrant Learning Center. While some of her classmates reported being bored, it’s never a dull day at The ILC. In her own words, “This opportunity has been so fantastic. I really have appreciated watching the students learn because they are so passionate about learning English.” We hope to see Yasmine again as a volunteer during her gap semester before she heads off to Boston University.

Top 25 Immigrant Entrepreneurs

This year, The Immigrant Learning Center celebrates our 25th anniversary. One of the many accomplishments we’re proud of over these 25 years is the creation of the Immigrant Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. In this the accomplishments of 70 of the most famous immigrant entrepreneurs are highlighted. In honor of our 25 years and the contributions of these entrepreneurs, we present the top 25 immigrant entrepreneurs in the Hall of Fame, ranked by page views.The top 10 are presented below, and the whole top 25 as well as the complete Hall of Fame can be seen on The ILC website here.

  1. Immigrant entrepreneur logosBahram Akradi, founder of Life Time Fitness, Inc., from Iran
  2. Sergey Brin, co-founder of Alphabet (Google), from Russia
  3. Alexander Graham Bell, founder of AT&T, Verizon and Avaya, from Scotland
  4. Maxwell Kohl, founder of Kohl’s, from Poland
  5. Andrew Carnegie, founder of Carnegie Mellon University, United States Steel, Carnegie Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York and TIAA, from Scotland
  6. Francisco D’Souza, Cognizant Technology Solutions, from India
  7. Jerry Yang, founder of Yahoo!, from Taiwan
  8. Elon Musk, founder of PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors, from South Africa
  9. Max and Morris Feldberg, founders of TJX Companies, Inc. and BJ’s Wholesale Club, from Russia
  10. Sol A. Shenk, founder of Big Lots Inc., from Russia

About Us 

The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) of Malden, MA, is a not-for-profit organization that gives immigrants a voice in three ways. The English Language Program provides free, year-round English classes to immigrant and refugee adults in Greater Boston to help them become successful workers, parents and community members. The Public Education Institute informs Americans about the economic and social contributions of immigrants in our society, and the Institute for Immigration Research, a joint venture with George Mason University, conducts research on the economic contributions of immigrants. For more information, visit the website at www.ilctr.org or Facebook page ImmigrantLearningCenter.

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