ILI’s FIRST inspiring voice is that of Amy Ben-Ezra!

This new initiative is brought to you by our Social Media Intern, Payton Wright.  Payton is a Business Administration in Marketing major at UMASS Amherst.

Amy Ben-Ezra

Before moving out to the farm covered, home grown countryside that is Northampton, Amy was born and raised in Philadelphia.

High school gave her a glimpse of the world as she spent five weeks studying French in France. She headed off to college in Binghamton, NY and attended the State University of New York where she spent a semester studying at the University of Costa Rica.

At ILI, Amy wears many hats.

She acts as the school’s social worker, volunteer tutor program coordinator, home stay program coordinator, and helps with fundraising whenever needed! What is even more impressive than the extensive list of services she provides?

In my opinion, it’s how she landed the job (or jobs). When Amy found herself feeling burnt out from the social work she was doing, her sister-in-law asked her a very existential question: “When were you the happiest?” Amy’s mind took her to all the world experiences she had from small language schools in Mexico, to home stays in France and Costa Rica, some of the happiest times of her life were spent in other countries studying languages. This is when Amy was introduced to ILI.

Amy was offered a six-month 20 hour/week volunteer position at ILI and decided to take the risk.

Six months later she was offered a job, that was thirteen years ago! Amy says that her absolute favorite part about working at ILI is the positive environment and stresses that people want to be here, which makes work infinitely more enjoyable!

Every day she is exposed to international culture and meets people from all over the world who always have something to share and learn from.

Outside of ILI

Amy enjoys spending free time solving crossword puzzles, interior designing, and listening to all types of music (minus pop and most classical pieces). Although she loves and appreciates all types of world music, some of her favorites are blue-grass, jazz, and folk. She has even attended multiple music festivals including the Newport Jazz Festival, Rhythm & Roots Festival, Green River Festival, Grey Fox Music Festival and more!

Thank you for all you do for ILI Amy, keep rockin’!

Follow this series on Instagram with the tag #VoicesOfILI.