Community People

Congratulations, ABCD North End/West End NSC’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program

Proud Class of 2015! Seated 2nd from right, Mr. John Drew, President/CEO Action for Boston Community Development

On Thursday, June 18, 2015, ABCD North End/West End Neighborhood Service Center (NE/WE NSC) honored  49 students from over 16 countries for their success in completing the 2014/2015 Adult Education Program.  The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program is the only program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in the North and West End neighborhoods.  The program’s mission is to provide English language skills to adult immigrants in order to prepare students for success in their next steps, such as college, job training, employment for the first time, advanced employment, and/or to become active participants in their communities.

ESOL Article 2015 Photo 2
Mr. John Drew Addresses the Crowd

This year the students were honored to have John Drew ABCD’s President/CEO join the celebration. Mr. Drew shared some inspirational words to celebrate the students’ achievements, many of whom have to juggle work, their families here, and supporting their families back home financially.  The students will certainly remember the day, as he also handed out their certificates and posed for a photo of each participant.  Thank you, Mr. Drew!

Thanks also go out to teachers Sean Keane and Nikola Kovacevic, Educational and Career Advisor Don Strange, and Gretchen Yochum ESOL Coordinator.

The ESOL also gratefully acknowledges community partners for their ongoing support:  the Boston Public Library North End and West End branches, the North End Waterfront Health Center, the Old North Church, Eagle Bank, the Eliot Innovation School, and the North End Music and Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC), and Suffolk University.

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ABCD North End/West End NSC Staff and an ESOL Student, L-R Maria Stella Gulla, Director; Courtney Johnson, Case Manager II; Kate Matthews, Case Manager II; Mr. John Drew, President/CEO ABCD; Gretchen Yochum, ESOL Coordinator, and Sean Keane, ESOL Instructor

The NE/WE NSC would like to share the accomplishments of its students, and to highlight to the community what a sound investment Adult Basic Education (ABE) and ESOL programs are. In addition to 49 students completing at least 150 hours of English  instruction,  several students achieved educational and career goals that range from opening a small tailoring business;  to completing training programs in child care and bank telling; as well enrolling in an adult diploma program; and at Bunker Hill Community College. Other students also  interviewed, and applied for jobs.

The NE/WE NSC wishes graduating students the best of luck and returning students a safe and happy summer.  We will see you in September!

For those interested in the ESOL Program, please call the center at  617 523-8125 or e-mail Currently there are openings in the beginning level and waiting lists for the intermediate and advanced levels. Classes begin right after Labor Day.