The Volunteer English Program in Chester County makes recent news after impacting two new local residents.
Following two attacks from separatists forcing him to cooperate, Russian native, Yuri and his wife Elena decided it was time to flee from Ukraine and live in the United States. When they first arrived to the country Elena only knew three words in English. As you can imagine, it is extremely difficult to immerse oneself in a new setting if you are unfamiliar with the language.
The couple’s son, Bogdan is an elite-swimmer on West Chester University’s swim team. The couple turned to a local organization located in the West Chester Area for cultural help, the Volunteer English Program. Here they hoped to learn the native language after quickly discovering how expensive a formal education costs in America.
The Volunteer English Program of Chester County has been established for over 28 years. This program is not exclusive to immigrant adults, they are now proudly assisting two-hundred students above the age of 18. These students have migrated from 40 different countries, and have ranged between 30 different languages. Each student is matched with a free, personal tutor, providing him or her with one-on-one training. The program aims for students to gain language skills, citizenship skills, and open more employment options.
The non-profit organization is staffed primarily by volunteers who contribute hours of service to aid the program’s students learn the English language. In the past year alone, VEP workers contributed over 10,000 hours of service to their students.
In addition to teaching students English, VEP assists students with a variety of issues related to adjusting to a new country. These scenarios include learning how to drive, starting a business, or something as simple as helping their child with homework.
VEP does an impressive job providing their students with skills and resources to become part of the local community. The program hopes to continue to positively impact immigrants like Yuri and Elena in the process of adjusting in a new culture.
The Volunteer English Program is located at 790 East Market Street Suite 215. To contact the program you can reach them by phone 610-918-8222, email them or visit them online. “Like” them on Facebook to stay updated on all their featured announcements.