Come learn to dance Salsa and help BEACON students!
9 to midnight, first hour is a Salsa lesson
El Rey Tolteca Restaurant, 8412 Sudley Rd., Manassas
$15/person purchase online or at the door.
Can’t make it? Donate here.
Meet a BEACON business partner
“I would encourage any business to consider offering English classes for people who need them. The positives are endless.”
QMT Windchimes in Manassas Park partners with BEACON to provide English classes to their employees. Thanks to its dedicated volunteers and generous donors, BEACON’s classes are very reasonably priced and classes are centrally located in Manassas and Manassas Park, with both daytime and evening options.
Patty Baisden and her husband Jamie pay for any of the people who work at QMT who want to attend English classes through BEACON because they see the incredible positive impact speaking English plays in both the personal lives of their employees and in the life of their community.
“Supporting the whole person rather than just the employee at work is affirming and important,” says Patty.
According to the Baisdens, well over half of their employees in the production area come to QMT without English as their first language.
“By supporting their education and celebrating with them when they finish a class, our people in classes, as well as the others at QMT, know we value education, personal advancement, and them personally.” At the end of every semester, QMT recognizes each employee in the program at a special ceremony, with refreshments, a certificate, and a $50 cash bonus.
BEACON Executive Director, Jen Mora Zuñiga, says this partnership is the most successful she has seen during her career. “BEACON has served a total of 29 QMT employees,” she says. “Many of the students continue to take classes semester after semester. The Baisdens are incredibly generous and genuinely care about their employees.”
“Our people who have taken English classes take pride in using their newly learned vocabulary and have increased confidence,” says Patty. “The positives are endless. A parent who can speak English can better help their child in school and communicate with a teacher. An adult who speaks English can better express concerns with his or her doctor. A person who can read can make better choices at the grocery store, benefitting their family’s health.”
QMT Windchimes manufactures top-quality wind chimes right here in Prince William County. For QMT, “made in America” means exactly what it says. From start to finish, all of their chimes are completely designed, sourced, machined, and assembled in the United States.
“I would encourage any business to consider offering English classes for people who need them,” says Patty. “The benefits quickly outweigh the financial costs.”
Student spotlight, meet a new citizen
Grace is from Kenya and has lived in the United States since 1996. She came to the U.S. to escape corruption, poverty, and a lack of women’s rights.
Grace found BEACON online and took citizenship classes this spring. On August 27th, she passed the citizenship test and was sworn in September 19th as a new citizen.
Grace says BEACON classes are a safe place for students to learn and she can tell that learning through BEACON’s programs has given her much greater confidence. Now that she is a U.S. citizen, she says that her next goal is to vote! Grace also plans to give back by becoming a BEACON volunteer. She has already offered to assist with the upcoming registrations sessions, when new students will sign up for the winter session.
“I’m so blessed to have found BEACON… I believe that BEACON has helped so many people, not only with citizenship interview, but also with learning English and the American culture, so that we can feel like we have a place here in America and can work toward making a better life for our families,” said Grace.
Meet a BEACON volunteer instructor
“I had the idea that it would be nice to make the world a better place. After interacting with my students, I came to the conclusion that the world was already a pretty good place.”