Area residents, members of community-based organizations, elected officials, and Harvard representatives gathered at the Charlesview Community Center in Brighton today for the annual Allston-Brighton Legislators’ Breakfast.
Seven area residents were honored by local elected officials and the Allston-Brighton Adult Education Coalition for their ongoing work in the community. The coalition is a group of more than 20 education providers in Allston-Brighton who together offer services such as classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), workforce development and literacy programs, and help obtaining citizenship.
“All of us have our own programs, but every one of us knows that we can do more when we work together,” said Sister Pat Andrews, director of The Literacy Connection and a member of the coalition.
Jason Clark, a program coordinator at the Harvard Ed Portal, was honored with the Community Partner Award for his work with community members seeking to take ESOL classes.
“In the past year [Clark] assessed and placed more than 120 students into 12 different education programs across Allston and Brighton. That’s 120 residents who probably would have sat on wait lists for a year or two,” Meghan Bea, assistant director of the Harvard’s Bridge Program, an adult education and training program, some of which are provided at the Ed Portal. “Those who have met with him describe him as welcoming and understanding. The ESOL directors that he refers students to describe him as organized, ambitious, and just plain wonderful.”
Another honoree, Archange Saintus, a Haitian immigrant, has been working with many of the organizations in the coalition, including the Gardner Pilot Academy, the Harvard Allston Workforce Collaborative, the Literacy Connection, and the Ed Portal. It’s been a busy time for Saintus; he became a U.S. citizen just last week.