Can you imagine coming to the U.S. and not knowing the English language with little education and trying to get ahead?
It is very difficult, especially for women.
One in five women in Bridgeport do not have a high education, which means their children are at risk for not moving up in the ranks in their education.
The Mercy Learning Center of Bridgeport is doing something about that.
Now celebrating 30 years, the organization has helped to educate 12,000 women from 47 countries, all for free.
“Because when I first came to this country, I didn’t hear what they are saying, but now I can have conversation, long conversation, and I understand what they are saying, I can do that. said Jane Ferreira, President and CEO of the Mercy Learning Center of Bridgeport. “I feel more confident when I need to talk to somebody, like my neighbors, teachers, [and] doctors.”
Generosity plays a key role in helping the organization continue with its work.
“The federal budget is just 9 percent and you raise $2 million each year to put 956 [people] into classes. How are you doing that? Generosity from a lot of people who really believe in women’s education,” explained Ferreira. “They believe in the importance of having a community educated, and a lot of folks just want to see children succeed too and know that education in a family is critical.”
Demand is great to get into Mercy. The organization serves just under 1,000 women each year. Unfortunately, they also have to turn many away.
There are 240 volunteers and tutors who make the school run. They are always looking for more, and they can use school supplies for the students as well.
If you want to change a life, go to www.mercylearningcenter.org.