When asked “How has your life changed as a result of working with Language ETC?”, Maggie Hagan-Brayton, our Spring 2010 intern, had this to say:

“Language ETC has opened up my eyes to a part of D.C.’s population that I probably wouldn’t have had much interaction with otherwise. As a college student, it’s easy to get caught inside the bubble of campus, but my time volunteering at LETC has allowed me to meet many incredible people and experience things that can’t be taught in a college lecture.”

Anne Hoffman, our 2009-2010 Literacy*AmeriCorps member answered:

“My life has changed tremendously since beginning to volunteer with Language ETC. When I started teaching Basic A in the Winter of 2009, I was immediately taken with the spontaneous evening energy. It was palpable, work had finished and everyone was here for one reason: to learn or to teach English. But within that reason there were thousands of other needs and motivations.

Language ETC is also a social space where students can come and enjoy learning together. It’s a melting pot or a salad bowl or whatever metaphor we’re using these days to characterize American immigrant life. But when so many different expectations, backgrounds, and languages come together, there seems to be a rule shift. People open up more, they get flexible. And a space develops for a conversation between what’s past – origins, old ways, a life left somewhere else – and what’s possible- what students and teachers can become through learning and guiding, giving and receiving.

Volunteering with Language ETC gave me a human understanding of the immigrant experience. It allowed me to access my own empathy as I remembered my life abroad and the challenges I faced. Now that I work here, I have a new role as a guide, and not just an educational facilitator. My goal is to continually offer stronger classes to my students, as well as to strengthen some of LETC’s educational services. This shift has made me a more effective educator. The responsibility has given me a radical opportunity to help people improve their lives.”

What about you? How has LETC changed your life?