Meet Mary, Open Arms ESL Volunteer Instructor

“This is a country where there is not an infrastructure for someone to survive, much less succeed, unless they have a certain command of English. These people have come here, especially refugees, because something was untenable about their life and they are looking to have a successful life. I personally don’t think without some level of English they are going to be able to do that.”


At Open Arms, English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) volunteer instructor, Mary, has been working with our staff for the past 8 months. Once a week, she prepares an English lesson for the Open Arms refugee staff, leading two one-hour classes aimed at teaching useful, level-appropriate speaking and reading skills. Mary and our ESL classes are one way that we support refugee livelihoods here in Austin. 

Meg Erskine