Dear BEACON friend,
In Beijing, Zhang was a high level manager at a financial company. Now residing in Manassas, she’s devoting time to learning English so she’ll be hired for a job in her field. “Studying English is my job now.”
Lucia practiced law in Peru. “The justice system was corrupt. We have no good government in my country.” Eight years after moving to the U.S. she works as a part-time administrative assistant.
Students come to BEACON for Adult Literacy with widely varying job histories and skills. Some fit the profile of the “high-skills immigrant” with advanced degrees from their home countries, while many others are developing their skills. All of them are learning English, and that can make finding even an entry-level job close to impossible.
Khaled, from Libya, has a chemical engineering degree but is having trouble transferring those skills to a job here. He’s doing computer consulting out of his home to make ends meet.
Rosa worked as a marketing executive in her home country of Columbia for 11 years, but she keeps getting passed over for similar jobs here in the U.S. “I quit looking because it was frustrating.”
BEACON offers English language instruction and job readiness skills to help our low-income students achieve their goals, whether it’s to find work, become U.S. Citizens, or just communicate better in English.
Yet grant funding for programs like BEACON is declining nationwide despite a growing population of immigrants and refugees urgently needing these services. Last year we served 375 students in our classes. Over 200 students registered for our fall term and we have a waitlist because demand for services surpasses our strained resources.
So many of our students have left everything behind to build new lives for themselves in the U.S. As a friend of BEACON, you’re aware that immigrants and refugees today face serious challenges. It’s more critical than ever to ensure BEACON’s programs are available. Please help make this possible with a generous gift to BEACON today.
Jennifer Mora Zuniga
P.S. BEACON is celebrating 25 years of service to our community in 2017! We could not have reached this remarkable milestone without your support. A generous donor just pledged to match all contributions up to $5,000, but only until December 31, 2017. Donate today and your gift will have twice the impact!