Anxhel won the visa lottery in May 2017. Without any English skills or family and friends to support him, he left Albania for the United States to pursue “the good life.” At the time, he was working as a waiter without much hope of advancement. As Anxhel says, there is not a lot of economic opportunity in Albania.
He started in the Level 1 class at The Immigrant Learning Center in January. By June he was hired as a grill cook at a restaurant in Belmont. Not only did he pass the interview in English, he was able to negotiate for more money.
Anxhel is now in Level 3 and says The ILC has helped him very much, but he still finds writing in English challenging. He says words are spelled like they sound in Albanian, and English can be very confusing. (Native English speakers sometimes find it confusing too.) He would like to become a chef some day but, “before any other goals, need to get better at English.”
Countless supporters help The ILC give immigrants a voice. Here is a heartfelt thank you for recent acts of kindness:
Caitlin Tromiczak, Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition; Diya Kallivayalil, Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School; Blanca Ramirez, Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at University of Southern California; Claire Tesh, LMNO Educational Consulting; Sarang Sekhavat, MA Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition; and Avideh Moussavian, National Immigration Law Center for presenting at our free webinar Tackling the Hidden Crisis: Immigrant Anxiety and Trauma on September 18 attended by 500 people from 45 states.
Robin Tweedy from Career Source and Jane Co and Warren Wong from the Asian American Civic Association for sharing information about job training with our students.
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.