Join us for Giving Voice (May 8): A celebration of Immigrants and Refugees

Chris Bailey, Volunteer Tutor Coordinator, met with Erica for this interview about her experience and motivation to volunteer with ILI.

Person in a hat sitting and observing nature while holding a camera.

How long have you been volunteering with ILI?

Since January 2022.

Tell us about your work as an ILI volunteer.

I meet weekly by video with a woman who emigrated from Turkey about ten years ago and lives with her family in Western Mass. We talk in English about current events, history, teenagers and social media, food, clothing, American culture, Muslim holidays—pretty much anything that comes up that we find interesting.

What do you enjoy about volunteering?

I like when she asks me questions about things she’s noticed. It is very satisfying to be able to help her better navigate English and her adopted home.

Why is volunteering important to you? 

I love the diversity of the US and immigration is a big part of that, so I want to do what I can to encourage people from other parts of the world who want to contribute to our culture and our nation.

What do you do outside of your volunteer work?

I’ve turned my yard into a wildlife habitat and I spend a lot of time photographing all the interesting insects and other animals I find there.