ELLA's Story

Creating Opportunity Through English Education

Founder, Rebecca Tobin, stumbled upon an unserved group of immigrant and refugee women who are unable to access English classes provided by existing refugee services for a variety of reasons, namely having small children but also due to transportation issues, medical conditions, and religious beliefs.  Being a former teacher, a friend asked if Rebecca could help by teaching a Syrian woman who falls in such a category.  After hearing the story of her journey to the U.S., fleeing a war-torn country, her time in a refugee camp in Jordan only to arrive in Arizona and be isolated, she just couldn't say no to the call for help.  Since November 2017, Rebecca has worked with the refugee student one-on-one, traveling to her apartment for in-home lessons, but also bringing her and some members of her family out in the community to teach her English allowing for authentic communication practice.  About three months into volunteering her time, Rebecca realized if one refugee woman is in this position so are other women, and she had to figure out how to do more to help.  In short, that is how ELLA came to be.