An education that pays

MounaWhen Mouna was a child in Morocco, she thought she would grow up to be a wife and mother, and that was enough for her. That was her parents’ vision, and they saw no need to give her a formal education.

As an adult, Mouna was married but, as many immigrant families do, they lived apart for several years until she was able to join her husband in the United States. The marriage did not last long after that, and Mouna was on her own. Because she lacked English skills, the only job she could find was washing dishes at Wendy’s.

She was allergic to the soap, and her skin became red and irritated. Fortunately, she came to The Immigrant Learning Center and, as her English improved, she could work as a cashier. She was still not making much money, so she got a second job at Dunkin Donuts. Mouna worked six days a week, getting home at 2:00 a.m. and coming to school in the morning. “I know I don’t sleep enough,” she admitted, “but I don’t care, I have to finish my school.”

Mouna is frustrated by her lack of education. “I could not write my name!” she says of her former life. With the help of The ILC, she is not only learning English, but reading and writing for the first time. All of her hard work is paying off. Mouna was recently hired as a supervisor at CVS. She will not only be making more money, she’ll be getting more sleep.

Thank you for your continued support that makes stories like Mouna’s possible.

Diane Portnoy







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

Theater Class

There are two upcoming performances by students in The Immigrant Learning Center Theater Class. They will perform Arriving at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 29 and Lost in Translation at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 30, both at the Malden Public Library in the Maccario Room. Both of these free performances are inspired by the life experiences of the students, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Thank you to the Malden Public Library for donating the space.

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 or Facebook page ImmigrantLearningCenter.

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