Entries by BEACON Team

A Tradition of Immigration in Virginia

From the colonists who founded Jamestown in 1607, Virginia has welcomed generations of new Americans to its shores and today it is one of the most ethnically diverse states in the nation. Home to more than one million immigrants, Virginia ranks as having the 9th largest foreign-born population in the United States.

Letter from the Director: Winter 2016

Greetings! BEACON for Adult Literacy, like many Adult Education literacy organizations across the country, is undergoing change. The Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) has shifted education (at all levels) to have a strong focus on job readiness skills and career pathways. While any change can be challenging, BEACON is approaching the future with optimism and […]

Spotlight on: The Sisters at BEACON

BEACON was founded in 1992 by Sister Eileen Heaps to address the need for adult literacy education in Prince William County. Today, four Sisters and Postulant Kay Fitzgerald directly continue Sister Eileen’s mission. Sister Doris Nolte is a co-facilitator of the new CareGiver pilot program. A retired principal, classroom teacher, and registered nurse, Sister Doris […]

Spotlight on: Our Technology Facilitators

Computer literacy drives the modern workforce. Yet many of the immigrants served by BEACON arrive in Northern Virginia not only lacking English language skills, but having little to no computer experience. “I’ve had students who are really scared at first—they are really nervous to use the mouse or keyboard and by the end of class […]

Getting Students Ready to Work

Integrating Workforce Readiness into BEACON’s ESOL Program BEACON’s addition of Workforce Readiness Skills into its ESOL program was instituted in response to federal legislation that spotlighted troubling gaps in our nation’s workforce readiness. Signed into law on July 22, 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) helps individuals overcome barriers to employment through programs […]

Student Spotlight: Sandra Corado

Sandra Corado, mother of three, and a widow who lost her husband in a fatal car accident, struggled to get by in Guatemala—a country ravaged by civil war, drug cartels, extreme poverty, and human rights violations, primarily against women. Chronic social problems and an inadequate educational system virtually guaranteed a life of poverty for the […]

Introducing our newest donor, the Crimsonbridge Foundation

Our many donors make the work we do at BEACON possible, and it is with great pleasure that we introduce you to our most recent partner, the Crimsonbridge Foundation. Based in Bethesda, this private foundation supports nonprofit organizations and programs dedicated to education and leadership to affect positive, lasting social change in our communities. Established […]

Our New Career Pathways CareGiver Program

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare careers are projected to outpace almost every other major occupational group in terms of job growth between 2010 and 2020. Recognizing the growing need for trained healthcare workers in Northern Virginia, BEACON has instituted a pilot program aimed at preparing interested students with the basic skills […]

Meet a Teacher: Sister Dolores Dean

Sister Dolores Dean moved from St. Joseph Monastery in Pennsylvania in 2013 to join the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia. The very next year she started teaching an ESOL class for BEACON. We caught up with her to ask her about her BEACON teaching experiences:

Meet Fulbright Scholar & BEACON Board Member Bill Woodard

At BEACON, we are fortunate to have a Board filled with remarkable professionals from many walks of life. Their expertise provides valuable guidance to our program, as well as noteworthy experiences that extend far beyond the board room. Bill Woodard hails from academia; he joined the BEACON board in November 2014. He recently received a […]