Elena’s Light: Illuminating Programs for Empowerment and Integration

At Elena’s Light, we strive to provide essential support and educational programs tailored to the needs of refugee and immigrant communities. Here’s an overview of our diverse and impactful programs designed to empower, educate, and integrate:

Elena’s Light ESL and Driving Education
Our flagship ESL program offers one-on-one English language tutoring right in the comfort of the client’s home. The curriculum is highly customizable, focusing on practical ESL skills to aid everyday interactions and independence in the community. An important aspect of this program is our driving education and permit testing prep course, specifically aimed at helping clients prepare for the Connecticut DMV Driver’s License Examination. This preparation is crucial for those who need reliable transportation options beyond public transit, enhancing their mobility and autonomy.

Pictured Above: ESL Driving Education and Permit Testing Prep Course with Elena’s Light facilitators Adina and Sarvenaz

Elena’s Light Legal Advocacy
Responding to the urgent needs following the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan in 2021, our legal advocacy program has become more crucial than ever. We offer “Know Your Rights” sessions, covering topics like Afghan Humanitarian Parole and immigration options including TPS, Asylum, and SIVs. These sessions are designed to inform and assist the Afghan community in navigating complex legal landscapes. Additionally, Elena’s Light is spearheading efforts to assemble a pro-bono committee to support the overwhelming legal needs of the community during this challenging time.

    Elena’s Light Community
    Supported by the Blossom Hill Foundation, the EL Community initiative builds upon the deep cross-cultural relationships formed over the years between our clients and volunteers. This program fosters a safe and welcoming environment for cultural exchange, exploration, and immersion, specifically designed for refugee and immigrant children and families. It’s a space where cultural diversity is celebrated and mutual understanding is cultivated.

    Pictured Above: Elena’s Light team attended the Yale Divinity School’s Internship and Volunteer Fair in January 2024. We had the privilege of connecting with inspiring students and organizations dedicated to serving the CT area.

    EL Child Wellness Program
    The latest addition to our offerings, the EL Child Wellness Program targets the social-emotional-cognitive development of elementary and middle school children from Afghanistan and Iraq residing in New Haven County, CT. Initiated with a 2020 Summer Pilot, the program uses evidence-based, culturally and trauma-informed curricula to support the well-being of these children. This program is crucial for helping them adjust and thrive in their new environment.

    Each of these programs at Elena’s Light reflects our commitment to supporting the journey of refugees and immigrants as they navigate new chapters in their lives. Through education, health support, legal advocacy, and community building, we illuminate paths to a brighter, more inclusive future.

    View more information and sign up to volunteer for Elena’s Light programs here.

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