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Beyond One-on-One: Anna's Innovative Approach to ENGin Volunteering

In a heartwarming tale of cross-cultural connection and support, retired nurse Ann Perlmutter, along with her trio of ENGin students, is weaving a story of friendship and empowerment through language learning. Ann's journey, alongside Yulia, Julia, and Nadiia, highlights the profound impact of volunteerism and the transformative power of education.

ENGin volunteer Ann Perlmutter has a videocall with her three ENGin students from Ukraine

In the realm of volunteerism, the most profound experiences often emerge from unexpected connections. Ann's venture into volunteerism began in 2022 when she stumbled upon ENGin through Volunteer Match. Drawn to the organization's mission of empowering the Ukrainian people through education and global connectivity, Ann eagerly dove into the program. Initially paired with Yulia from Dnipro, Ann found herself captivated by Yulia's dedication to learning English amidst her bustling life of career and family responsibilities.

Reflecting on her experience, Ann shares, "Helping the Ukrainian people gain their freedom and autonomy through education and connection to the greater world was something I would like to contribute time to."

After eight months of fruitful collaboration with Yulia, Ann's journey expanded to include Julia, who had relocated from Kyiv to Minneapolis with her husband. Julia, a young professional brimming with talent and resilience, quickly became another cherished mentee of Ann's. Soon after, Nadiia, an IT professional and young mother from Kyiv, joined their ranks, forming a dynamic quartet bonded by a shared pursuit of language proficiency and cultural exchange.

Describing her journey, Julia expresses:

"Now I can proudly say that Ann became one of my closest friends. Connecting with her other students Yulia and Nadiia from Ukraine has been inspiring. The opportunity to communicate with them and share our thoughts and experiences has been fulfilling."

Nadiia, echoing the sentiments of gratitude and growth, shares:

"Communication with Ann is like a sip of fresh water in such dark times that Ukrainians are experiencing. We are so far from each other, but in the main things our opinions converge and it is incredible."

Beyond language acquisition, ENGin serves as a catalyst for personal and professional growth. Nadiia's journey from overcoming language barriers to securing a position in an American company reflects the program's profound impact.

"I started to read some books in the original, I got an offer in an American company and I work in a multicultural team," Nadiia reveals. "I believe that one day we will all meet and see each other."

Their weekly gatherings over WhatsApp have become a cherished ritual, fostering not only language fluency but also a deep sense of camaraderie and mutual support. Through their interactions, barriers dissolve, and bridges of understanding and empathy are built.

Yulia reflects on the profound impact of the ENGin program, stating:

"ENGin gives me the opportunity to learn English with a native speaker, practice, share experiences, talk about our Ukraine and receive pleasant, positive emotions from a friend abroad."

Ann's dedication to ENGin's mission extends beyond her individual contributions. She is actively involved in promoting the program within her community, even introducing her young nephews to the idea of volunteering. With a local ENGin group taking root in her area, Ann's commitment to fostering global connections and educational opportunities continues to ripple outward.

As their bonds deepen and their language skills flourish, Ann and her trio of ENGin students embody the spirit of cross-cultural collaboration and solidarity. Their story serves as a testament to the transformative power of volunteerism, education, and the unwavering human spirit in the face of adversity. With each conversation through ENGin, they are not only bridging linguistic divides but also forging lifelong friendships that transcend borders and enrich lives.

Such inspiring stories show the incredible impact of volunteering with ENGin. Are you ready to make a difference? Join our community of volunteers and learners today! Just one hour a week can create positive change in someone's life.

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Apr 13
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thanks to Ann and the entire ENGin team.

ENGin reminds me of a song by Joan Baez.....

"Because the stars in your sky / Are the stars in mine....

The flowers that we planted / Through the seasons past / Will all bloom...."

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