PLATINUM2023

The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.

Giving Immigrants a Voice

aka The ILC   |   Malden, MA   |  www.ilctr.org

Mission

The ILC's mission is to give immigrants a voice in three ways. The English Language Program provides free, year-round ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes to help immigrant and refugee adults in Greater Boston become successful workers, parents and community members. The Public Education Institute informs Americans about immigrants and immigration in the United States, and the Institute for Immigration Research, a joint venture with George Mason University, conducts research on the economic contributions of immigrants.

Ruling year info

1992

Founder and CEO

Ms. Diane Portnoy

Executive Director

Vincent Rivers

Main address

442 Main Street

Malden, MA 02148 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-3138284

NTEE code info

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (B05)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The ILC is challenged to provide free language and literacy skills along with career and continuing education counseling to low-income adult immigrants in Greater Boston so that they may become successful workers, parents and community members who can contribute to the economy of our country. Learning English is the critical first step. Prior to the Center's opening, a needs assessment was performed by Ms. Portnoy with information from the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants Demographic Update, 1990 Census data, System of Adult Basic Education Support and news articles. She met with local officials, schools, counseling and community agencies to assess needs and design appropriate services. Malden proved to be an ideal location for an English language program for immigrant adults being the second most diverse city in Massachusetts, lack of free language services and easy access to public transportation. Continued community assessment over the years shows this is still true.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes

The ILC The Immigrant Learning Center’s (The ILC) award-winning program provides a continuum of classes and services, free of charge, to immigrant and refugee adults whose English proficiency ranges from very low and beginning levels to intermediate. Historically, The ILC is fully enrolled with more than 400 students at any given time, and over 900 annually. With the onset of the pandemic, student levels have decreased somewhat.
Classes are offered year-round in three four-month morning and afternoon sessions. All classes are intensive, from 12 to 12.5 hours a week, and instruction is given in English only for a total immersion experience that accelerates learning. Individuals are placed in class levels that best reflect their current listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and progress at their own pace in accordance with individual goals. The curriculum incorporates civics, financial literacy, life skills and next steps to help students navigate our complex social systems (education, financial, health, legal, etc.) and make plans for continuing education and job or career searches after leaving The ILC.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
Adults

Since 2003, The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute conducted research and educated Americans on the contributions of immigrants to our society and economy. First, by commissioning 13 studies and then through a partnership with George Mason University that launched the Institute for Immigration Research. The ILC Public Education Institute’s research has helped inform state and local policy and action on immigration. Underscoring the outsized contributions of the foreign-born, the Institute hosts the annual Barry M. Portnoy Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Benefit that brings together policymakers, business and community leaders to highlight their impact on jobs, community development and innovation. The Institute hosts free webinars and online workshops to equip immigrant- and refugee-serving professionals with best practices, tested techniques and the latest research. Free professional development for teachers on immigration are done both in-person locally and online nationally. The Institute also hosts a free online library of more than 1,200 curated studies on U.S. immigration with plainly written abstracts and easy search criteria to bring the facts closer to the public discourse.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Organization of Distinction 2012

Malden YWCA

Excellence in Innovation Finalist 2012

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

Best Practices Award 2003

Nellie Mae Education Foundation

Community Service Provider of the Year 2001

Malden Chamber of Commerce

Community Quarterback Award 2009

Eastern Bank

Community Leadership Award 2006

Boston Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians

Massachusetts Literacy Champion 2003

Massachusetts Literacy Foundation

Massachusetts Literacy Champion 2009

Massachusetts Literacy Foundation

Celebrate Literacy Award 2005

International Reading Association, Greater Boston Council

Community Service Provider of the Year 2012

Malden Chamber of Commerce

Ellis Island Medal of Honor 2001

National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations

National Award 1998

Valley Forge Freedom Foundation

Community Leadership Award 1996

North Shore Black Women’s Association

Keepers of the American Dream 2015

National Immigration Forum

Alumni Hall of Fame 2016

Malden High School

Women Making a Difference 2016

The Zonta Club of Malden

Massachusetts Literacy Champion 2016

Massachusetts Literacy

Unsung Heroine award 2017

Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women

Peace Award 2017

Peace Island Institute

Key to the City 2017

City of Malden, Massachusetts

Outstanding Educator Award 2019

Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education

Literacy Award Winner 2020 American Prize 2020

Library of Congress

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients who become literate because of literacy education programs by the nonprofit

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Immigrants and migrants

Related Program

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2021 enrollments declined due to the pandemic and a shift to online learning. Fewer students advanced to the next level. Since 1992, we have served nearly 12,500 immigrants.

Number of participants who pass citizenship exam

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Immigrants and migrants

Related Program

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Since we first began tracking achievements (2002), nearly 500 students passed the U.S. Citizenship exam. The pandemic has caused a slow-down in processing times which affects recent numbers.

Number of students who achieved career and/educational goals.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Immigrants and migrants

Related Program

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Goals such as finding work, attending job fairs, going on interviews, receiving a promotion or pay raise, entered a training/continuing education program are lower in 2021 due to COVID.

Number of participants who registered for webinars.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Public Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

Free webinars and online workshops equip professionals with best practices, tested techniques and latest research. There were fewer webinars in 2019 & 2021. Zoom fatigue may affect 2021 numbers.

Number of downloads of the organization's materials and explanations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Public Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The Institute hosts a free online library of over 1,200 curated studies on U.S. immigration with plainly written abstracts and easy search criteria to bring the facts closer to the public discourse.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The goals and objectives of The ILC are devoted to a single outcome: that students reach their full potential as productive, responsible and participating workers, parents, entrepreneurs, community members and citizens through increased English language proficiency. Our specific goals are:

• To support students in their efforts to learn both oral and written English so they can achieve personal, employment and educational goals;
• To provide an accessible, intensive, academic program free of charge consistent with the diverse needs and interests of the Limited English Proficient, foreign-born adults in the Greater Boston area;
• To provide a continuum of services from pre-literacy to college and career planning;
• To engage in ongoing curriculum, staff and program development to best meet the needs of the student community;
• To provide an educational forum to help immigrant parents learn family literacy practices;
• To provide services to any foreign-born individual, age 16 or over, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, education, disability, native country or other eligibility restrictions;
• To inform Americans about immigrants and immigration in the United States.

The ILC’s English Language Program is focused on key initiatives: four levels of ESOL classes, three levels of Literacy classes, two levels of Citizenship classes and Next Steps classes.

Each student sets personal goals and is placed in the class best able to help them achieve their goal. The Citizenship classes use a specialized curriculum focused on the language skills and content knowledge required to succeed in the interview and pass the Citizenship exam. Next Steps classes prepare students to transition successfully to the next stage of learning. Career and education advisors work with students to develop a plan of action, which may include job training, higher education, career development, professional re-certification and job search skills. Students are coached in resume writing, interviewing skills, making calls and sending emails, and other job search skills.

Our approach is unique and differs from other adult education programs in several ways: 1) All classes and services are free of charge. 2) Classes are intensive, 12-12.5 hours a week, and are conducted in English only for a total immersion experience that accelerates learning. 3) All teachers are paid professionals with bachelor and advanced degrees. 4) In addition to teaching English, the curriculum incorporates American civics, computer literacy, navigational skills and next steps for job search, career and education attainment. We collaborate with many education and social service organizations in Greater Boston communities that provide continuing education, social services, job training and career development. The curriculum for our year-round adult education program aligns with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) Curriculum Frameworks for foreign-born adults. Teachers meet weekly with the director of English language programs to ensure compliance with Frameworks guidelines, share best practices and make adjustments to meet students’ needs.

The ILC opened its doors more than 30 years ago. Today The ILC has an English Language Program that was awarded a “Tier 1” program rating by DESE for student performance testing and program, fiscal and management excellence. The ILC is considered the “gold standard” of adult education programs and has received numerous awards over the years. Positive feedback from our students further demonstrates The ILC’s ability to deliver successful programming.

To meet our goals, we enlist our staff, which includes professional, experienced, paid teachers who have bachelors and advanced degrees. Working in partnership with teachers are three full-time career and education advisors who work with students on job readiness, which includes resume writing, interviewing skills, American workplace culture and accompanying them to job fairs. A full-time family literacy coordinator develops workshops for students who are parents of pre-school and school-aged children. A corps of approximately 50 volunteers from all walks of life work in classrooms under the direction of teachers. A 21-member diverse Board of Trustees, is comprised of representatives from the business, community and ILC staff.

Our progress and growth have been steady. For nearly 30 years The ILC has been fulfilling its mission to "give immigrants a voice." Beginning in 1992 with three classes and 60 students, The ILC now serves 300 students on any given day, despite the pandemic. We have served over 11,000 students in both traditional and innovative ESOL classes.

Citizenship classes were created for students whose goals include naturalization. A Literacy Program was developed for students who can't read or write in their native tongue. these students never had the opportunity to attend school in their home country due to war, poverty, culture or natural disaster and are unprepared to enter a low level ESOL class.

Our Family Literacy Program offers workshops for our many students who are parents or caretakers of school-aged children. These workshops promote the importance of reading to children and navigating the U.S. education system. The Literacy Program Coordinator plays a vital role in assisting parents with a myriad of issues regarding education, parenting and more. She connects families to resources such as virtual playgroups for new parents and maintains several book clubs.

Next Steps classes are for students whose goals include college enrollment, job training programs and career development. They work with our career and education advisors who counsel them on job searches and continuing education goals. Each student who graduates from The ILC leaves with a plan specifically developed to continue towards greater educational and career life goals.

The ILC has served more than 11,500 students yet maintains a constant waitlist, demonstrating an ongoing need for our services.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 08/24/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Hon. Frank Bailey

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge

Gerard Martin

Director, North Atlantic Medical Services, Inc.

Diane Portnoy

Founder and CEO, The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.

Penny Garver

Retired, Senior Vice President, Santander Bank, New England

Esther Karinge

Teacher's Aide, Medford Public Schools

Mahmud Jafri

CEO, Dover Rug and Home

Diane Stern

Retired, Co-Anchor, WBZ Radio Afternoon News

Karen Cangiano

Former Trustee, Proctor Academy

Nereyda Garcia

Head of Compliance, Rare Disease and Rare Blood Disorders at Sanofi

Warren Heilbronner

Partner, Sullivan & Worcester LLP

Denzil Mohammed

Director, ILC Public Education Institute

Saritin Rizzuto

Assistant Vice President, Metro Credit Union

Anne Walsh

Teacher/Tutor, Winthrop Elementary School

Sandra Bornstein

Educator

Beth Conway

EVP & Chief People Officer, Nuance Communications

Saima Firdoos

Attending Physician, Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Portsmouth, NH

Lise Revers

Owner and Manager, Beechwood Stables

Jane Willis

Partner at Ropes & Gray, LLP

Jessica Senat

Director of English Language Programs

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/23/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data