MCIF Participants

A New Immigrant's Reality

Imagine yourself in a foreign country where you are unable to speak the language. You go to restaurants hoping that there are pictures on the menu, to drug stores walking aimlessly up and down the aisles to find what you need, or to your child’s school desperately seeking someone who speaks your language. You are unable to communicate with your child’s teacher, the manager of the restaurant where you are seeking a job, the bank teller, or your neighbor. You can’t help your child with her homework or ask for directions when you get lost on the streets. You need medical attention and can’t describe the pain in your side as sharp. You become the victim of domestic violence and are not able to advocate for yourself. You are unable to obtain a job that will sufficiently provide for your family. You don’t know about the resources in your community and you feel utterly lost in this unfamiliar world. This feeling of hopelessness was a day-to-day reality for our participants before they made the choice to attend the Maura Clarke-Ita Ford Center.

MCIF Center's Adult Education Participants

MCIF serves the immigrant population of New York City, specifically individual residing in Brooklyn and Queens. Since 1993, over one thousand individuals have benefitted from the educational services at MCIF Center. Our participants come from most Spanish speaking countries in Central and South America including Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Puerto Rico, and El Salvador – to name a few. In a typical academic year, MCIF Center educates 150 individuals from over 15 different countries, most of whom are women. MCIF participants aspire to increase their education in order to escape from poverty, support their children’s education, and acquire sustainable employment in the U.S.

MCIF Center's Current Participants

During an academic year, MCIF Center serves approximately 150 to 175 individuals from countries around the globe.

  • The majority of participants are women.
  • Nearly 100% are Spanish speaking.
  • More than half lack a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Over three-quarter of our participants have never studied at the university level.
  • The majority are unemployed upon enrollment.
  • Nearly 80% have children.
  • 92% of participants with school-aged children qualify for public assistance.
  • MCIF Participants' Accomplishments

    During the 2011-2012 Academic Year:

  • 57% of ESL participants enrolled in other educational programs at the Center.
  • 24% of the ESL participants either obtained a job or a promotion during academic year.
  • 76% of ESL participants said that their self-esteem increased/greatly increased.