We are excited to start our Spring Education Quarter beginning on April 12th. The quarter dates run from April 12 – June 24. Classes include (Click the links for more …
World Refugee Day, international observance on June 20th of every year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world. According to the UNHCR, forced displacements tops 70 million globally, the largest in the organization’s 70-year history. (Source: UNHCR)
Here at Tacoma Community House (TCH), we continue to provide a safe place for our refugee communities to thrive. We learn from our refugee community members through their strength, courage, and resilience. With compassion, TCH will always stand with refugees because we are stronger together. In 2018, TCH served more than 100 refugees from multiple countries.
Interested in supporting our work, make a contribution today.
Thanks to generous financial support from KeyBank and The Norcliffe Foundation, Tacoma Community House (TCH) will reinstate English Language classes on the East Side of Tacoma starting in 2019. According to …
On June 20, we held a graduation ceremony for five incredibly conscientious, hardworking individuals who recently passed the four parts of the GED test. They are the latest in a …
UW Tacoma Urban Studies Forum: Assessing the South Sound’s Prospects as a Welcoming Region ▶ REGISTER NOW ◀ Thursday, February 16, 2017 | 8:30AM to 1:30PM William W.Philip Hall (WPH) 1918 Pacific Avenue …
The Education Department at Tacoma Community House launched a pilot program, Project I-DEA, with the intent to increase digital, career and college-readiness skills of adult English students. The Integrated Digital English Acceleration (I-DEA) Program targets adult learners in the lowest levels in English as a Second Language classes. Supported by the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, TCH is in the third year of the program in collaboration with all community and technical colleges.
Students have access to new laptops and technology – enhanced resources thanks to a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. ELA (English Language Acquisition) students are learning through a flipped model, where they do pre-work before coming to class to practice their skills. Lessons are broken into modules and students do about eight hours of one-on-one time a week – with an additional eight hours of work at home.
Even though we are in the first quarter of a three-quarter pilot, students seem to be enjoying the class. Amy Diehr, Education Services Director says, “We are all learning this quarter. Students are learning how to use a computer and learn English while staff are learning how to wrap lessons with pre-work rather than homework.”
Project I-DEA already shows great promise. By the end of the program, I-DEA learners will increase their English language, digital skills and progress along career and college pathways toward family-wage jobs.
Interested in supporting our work? Make a contribution today.
Former education participant, Corey, returned to Tacoma Community House recently to show his gratitude to the community that encouraged him to take and pass the GED® tests. Corey explained that he dropped out of high school in D.C. during his junior year. He fell behind in his studies and eventually slipped so low that he gave up. Corey spent some years in the state of Washington as an adolescent, so when he moved back, he began taking Adult Basic Education classes at TCH in September 2012. It was “redo part two” for Corey. He decided to come to TCH because his father had taken classes here as well.
Corey credits his teacher at TCH, saying, “I only had one class and that was for science, math, reading. I only had one teacher, and she was definitely great! I was only in the course for maybe two or three weeks. I was scoring high on the pre-test she gave me,
so she told me to go take the GED® tests. She told me, ‘just go.’ I went and I passed the first time!”
Corey is currently attending Tacoma Community College and focusing on Communications and Broadcasting. “I want to one day be a news broadcaster. No, not for sports. I would hope to be an anchor.” He shared that he aspires to do meaningful work like Oprah Winfrey.
He encourages others to further their education and pursue their dreams. “For anyone that still has time to get your education from elementary, middle, and high school I strongly recommend you to do all of that while you can. That’s something that I wish I would’ve known before.”
GED® classes are held Monday through Thursday and serve students in Washington state. The Adult Basic Education (ABE) program helps students with basic skills as well as GED® level work.
Interested in supporting individuals like Corey, make a contribution today.
On Friday, April 10, 2015, Tacoma Community House (TCH) celebrated 105 years of making positive change in the lives of refugees, immigrants and low income families in the south Puget Sound. Over 500 guests gathered at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, and were reminded, through storytelling and statistics of TCH’s reach and impact, of why it takes all of us doing what we can to ensure that all people have access to opportunities that will help them reach their fullest potential. That we are in this together, that one person’s success is the success of all, was the message at the heart of TCH participant Reysis Alonso’s speech which she shared at the Annual Luncheon. If you were not able to be there or need to be reminded of how powerful her words were, we invite you to read her story.
Buenas Tardes. Good afternoon. My name is Reysis Alonso, and I would like to say thank you for being here today. I am Cuban. When I was 13 years old my family and I moved to Venezuela in search for freedom and a better life. The 21 years I spent in Venezuela was hard and it became harder when the government turned communist. There were no opportunities and I was barely surviving with my daughter.
My dream was to always move to the United States and in 2004 my dream came true. I was happy because of the hope that was here for me and many other immigrants looking for liberty like myself.
I am a proud Army wife. For 7 years I have moved with the Army to several cities and I have never known a place like Tacoma Community House. I reached Washington on August 18, 2014. I was looking for a place to study English. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website recommended TCH as one of the best places to study English. Caring for a family of 5 is not easy on our budget, but I knew I could study English at TCH because it is not expensive. For the last 6 months, I have been taking ESL classes and to my surprise TCH does more than teach English. They help people find jobs, they help with immigration and because of TCH, I am on the pathway to citizenship. I also got a job with Home Depot.
Because of your support, I feel better speaking English. I can communicate better with my kids and I feel more secure with myself. Because of your support, I have a job and I finally feel like I have gained independence. I will soon become a citizen of my country, the United States. At Tacoma Community House, I had the chance to go to Olympia and ask lawmakers to keep our programs. I got to motivate my immigrant friends to keep up the good work. I will soon be able to vote. My voice will matter and I will finally belong.
There is no place like Tacoma Community House. This place has been the solution for my life. My story is unique, but so are the stories of the thousands of people TCH serves. This is about all of us. Please continue to support this beautiful and important work of Tacoma Community House. Thank you for everything! Gracias por todo!
Interested in helping families like Reysis’? Support our work by making a contribution today.
Paulina was born and raised in Peru. An intelligent woman, Paulina flourished in school and became an attorney. Through her work she met her husband, who promised her the world. Excited at the prospect of spending her life with the man she loved, she moved to America to be with him.
Once they arrived in the U.S. they married. Shortly thereafter Paulina’s husband became emotionally and physically abusive. The violence continued even when Paulina was pregnant. When she gave birth to their child, he refused to recognize his daughter. A paternity test was done and the results were positive, but he still did not wish to be in the child’s life. Paulina tried to live with the man she thought she loved, but he wanted nothing to do with her or the baby and threatened to have her deported.
Paulina came to United States with hopes of a prosperous future with her husband, a U.S. citizen. However, her dreams quickly faded when her husband became violent. Paulina lived in constant fear and was a prisoner in her own home. At one point, she was afraid she was going to die and leave her family all alone.
After three years of physical and emotional abuse, Paulina had had enough. She no longer wanted to be afraid. She sought help and was referred to Tacoma Community House. Through the Client Advocacy program, Paulina had help finding housing and received public assistance, immigration services and social security. She thanks her advocate for helping her and her family reach stability and security.
Additionally, with her advocate‘s assistance, she and her family are now permanent residents. Paulina says it was her advocate’s encouragement that gave her the strength she needed to keep moving forward. She never thought she’d get out of the rough spot she was living in, but her determination and tenacity helped pave the way for stability for herself and her family.
Paulina recently completed ESL classes at TCH. She knew learning English is necessary so she can communicate with others, navigate the bus system, understand the culture, and much more. She plans on furthering her education so she can provide for her family. For the brief time she’s been volunteering with the Juvenile Court, Paulina has been recognized for being smart and a quick learner. Her goal is to, once again, work in the court system — this time as a paralegal.
“Tacoma Community House is essential for the community,” Paulina shared. She hopes one day she can pay it forward and give back to the organization that helped her get back on her feet.
Interested in helping women like Paulina? Support our Client Advocacy program by making a contribution today and/or by donating Orca cards or gift cards.
If you are interested in learning more about client advocacy, please contact the Client Advocacy Manager Rocio Chavez de Alvarado.
There is an Arab saying that “Knowledge is light, and it is the light of your life.” Nabeel took this saying to heart, followed his dream and focused on education at Tacoma Community House. But his life had taken many twists and turns before he arrived at our door.
Nabeel attended school in America through the 8th grade. His parents then moved the family to Yemen so they could learn about their cultural heritage. Years later, Nabeel returned to Tacoma and began a career in the shipping industry. He worked hard as a sailor and wanted to be the best in his profession. “People said I could make it to captain,” Nabeel shared. As a sailor he was financially secure and able to provide for his wife and son living in Yemen.
Working at sea had its rewards, but it did take a toll. With his wife and son moving to the United States to be reunited, it was no longer suitable to be away for extended periods. He left the shipping industry and attempted to find a different profession closer to home. Without a high school education, finding employment was difficult. Nabeel sought help and advice from family and friends and was eventually referred to TCH.
Nabeel enrolled in Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes. After only three weeks his teacher encouraged him to take the GED® tests, which he passed on his first attempt! Excited at the prospect of advancing himself further, he registered in the Crash Course to Employment. Through the workshop he learned that he was capable of more. He improved his interview skills, created resumes and cover letters and gained a tremendous boost of confidence. He began an apprenticeship through the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitter and just recently started a job!
Jubilant with the direction his life is taking thanks to TCH, Nabeel encouraged his wife, Amani, to enroll in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. “I want to show her that knowledge is light, and it is the light of your life,” Nabeel said. An avid supporter of Amani’s education, Nabeel is encouraging her to continue her education through ABE and citizenship classes. “Without your help, I wouldn’t be here,” he asserts. Nebeel and Amani believe that nothing could be better than improving the quality of their lives and becoming fully contributing members of society.
Help more families like Nabeel and Amani by making a contribution today. Click here to donate