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Zeynep Dere receives Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Scholarship

Zeynep Dere is the recipient of a scholarship established by Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee for area immigrants and refugees studying at the Northampton-based International Language Institute (ILI) of Massachusetts. The scholarship allows Dere to enroll in ILI’s intensive English program over the next year. Her application was chosen from many submitted by immigrants and refugees in the school’s free English evening classes for immigrants and refugees.

Dere, from Turkey, has been a student in the free English classes since 2015. When not busy with her family and school, she volunteers her time to raise funds for needy children, at one time for orphanages in Turkey and now in western Massachusetts. She lives in South Hadley with her husband and two young children.  [Read more…]

Announcing ILI’s 14th Partner: Welcome Cambridge College!

Cambridge College and the International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI) recently announced a partnership through the University Pathways Program. Through this partnership, international students in the University Pathways track receive the academic support and counseling they need to help them transition successfully to college or university. [Read more…]

Local Immigration Attorney Joins ILI’s Governing Board

Dan Berger, partner in the law firm Curran & Berger of Northampton, has joined ILI’s board of directors. 

“We are pleased to welcome Dan to ILI,” said board president Eric Wirth. “His legal background and considerable experience in immigration issues bring a wealth of skills and knowledge to support ILI’s work, which includes free English classes for immigrants and refugees, high-quality language instruction and teacher training, and volunteer opportunities throughout the Pioneer Valley.” [Read more…]

Voices of the Valley

ILI in the news! Caroline Gear, ILI’s executive director, speaks with MassLive about the important role ILI plays in the Pioneer Valley.

[Read more…]

Welcoming Immigrants and Refugees

Macey Faiella offers so many great and practical tips for working with refugees, immigrants and English language learners. But her best advice might be to assume nothing, except a spirit of cooperation.  Listen to this 10-minute video from The Smith College School of Social Work Conference, Building Together:  Creating a Welcoming Community for Refugees and Immigrants

Mayor of Northampton Visits ILI

June 14th Mayor Narkewicz visited ILI’s Free English for Immigrants and Refugees Program.  The Mayor shared his role as mayor, his plans for Northampton and how people can get involved in local government.  We had a lively question and answer session and feel very grateful to have Mayor Narkewicz as our Mayor of Northampton.

Meet ILI’s Newest Board Members

Aimee Furaha Salmon, Harry Montalvo, and Markus Jones have joined the all-volunteer board of directors for the Northampton-based International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI).

“We welcome Aimee, Harry, and Markus to ILI,” said board president Eric Wirth. “Their backgrounds and experiences bring a wealth of skills and knowledge to support ILI’s work, including high-quality language instruction and teacher training, free English classes for immigrants and refugees, and volunteer opportunities throughout the Pioneer Valley.” [Read more…]

Thank you Valley Gives Day!

May 2nd was an amazing day for our community!  $1,161,705 was raised for over 400 non-profit organizations.  New and local donors gave $2365 for our Free English Program!.

Immigrants and refugees in the Pioneer Valley are changing their lives and the lives of their families through ILI’s free English classes.  For nearly 30 years, these classes have helped students gain the English language skills they need to open education and employment doors and participate more fully in their communities. Your dollars can help them continue along their path to greater fulfillment…and you can make a donation today!

ILI acquires Alexis Johnson Annex!

ILI is now the proud owner of the Alexis Johnson Annex, and as the picture clearly shows, we are incredibly happy!
Purchasing the 1,000 sq. ft. annex (part of ILI’s current location) for use as classrooms and office space was the brainchild of our co-founder and now-retired executive director Alexis Johnson. Achieving this goal means we have acquired a valuable asset and reduced our operating expenses.
More than  100 generous donors from local communities made it possible to secure the downpayment to purchase the annex. Without their support, this long-time dream would still be just that — a dream.
A special shoutout goes to the Beveridge Family Foundation and Alexis for kickstarting the fundraising and to Mary Commanger, Jeff Palm, Lyman Wood, and the ILI Board of Directors — all of whom went above and beyond in their support of the fundraising campaign.

Intensive English Students Meet the Mayor of Northampton!

Students in the intensive English program had the opportunity to meet Northampton’s Mayor Narkewicz. We have a wonderful Mayor and appreciate that he makes the time to meet with international students. The students had some thoughtful questions prepared ahead of time.

Thank you Mayor Narkewicz!