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Refugee/Immigrant Education Center Seeing An Increase Of Need For Its Services

Nicole Heaps

The English Language Center in Logan has recently seen a 20% increase of students, mainly refugees, and its resources are growing thin.

“We started this English Language Center because we have a real love for the people in our valley who need this type of education," said Katie Jensen, the co-founder of the center. Jensen was teaching English as a second language at an applied technology school before transferring to the ELC.

“The mission for the English Language Center is to provide English classes and basic life-skills classes for immigrants, including newly arriving refugees," Jensen said. "And it is to treat everyone with dignity and love and respect.”

The nonprofit center offers classes for students 18 years or older, and is able to operate through donations from the public and philanthropic grants. Students are only required to pay a $25 fee for a 10-week quarter. The recent student growth has called for an extra $60,000 in funding in order to provide for teacher salaries and supplies, building expenses and textbooks.

The population increase is due to JBS Beef Plant, a meat packing plant that is recruiting refugees to work in Cache Valley.

“As I go out in the community and I see these refugees working and making money for themselves and their family and I know that they came to ELC to gain those skills," Jensen said, "that’s what self-sufficiency means, it not only benefits that person, it benefits our whole community.”