EdLetter / 6-14

This is it—the issue in which we reveal the top five winners of our 2013 Charity Awards. One of them, the Immigrant & Refugee Women’s Program, was founded by Sr. Elise Silvestri and is based on the idea of women helping women. Immigrants and refugees struggle with the uncertainty that comes with living in unfamiliar surroundings. The women are especially vulnerable, as traditional cultural roles in their native land have left them with little or no education, and limited resources.

When I met Sr. Elise 10 years ago, she told me the program’s ultimate goal is to allow the women to do something for themselves, either by confidently applying for a job or enrolling their children in school. And since 1995, a steadfast volunteer group of retirees, housewives and working professionals have doing just that—by teaching the women basic English language skills, helping to transform their lives.

But there’s more work to be done: There are more than 65 women on the program’s waiting list, eager to learn and make their own contribution to the community. Can you help?