It felt like Christmas in April for one Queens organization.
Nearly 100 people all with smiles on their faces filled Make the Road New York‘s Jackson Heights office on Thursday, April 8, but instead of waiting for Santa Claus with a stack of presents, they were waiting for Congressmember Joseph Crowley who was bringing his own special gift to the group.
Crowley presented Make the Road New York a group that focuses on promoting economic justice, education and opportunity for all New Yorkers with a check for $300,000 to help support ongoing adult education programming and legal aid initiatives.
“Make the Road‘s work to protect the rights of all and fight for economic equality is helping to keep our community strong,” said Crowley, who was joined by Councilmembers Julissa Ferreras and Danny Dromm at the announcement. “The $300,000 I secured for Make the Road will be put to good use by helping adults get a GED, attend ESL classes and obtain important legal aid.”
Crowley has worked with Make the Road New York and its Co-Executive Director Ana Maria Archila for a number of years going back to when it was called the Latin American Integration Center.
Make the Road will use the $300,000 in federal funding to provide adult education programming, including GED and English-as-a-second language ESL classes; and legal support to ensure the rights of tenants, workers, immigrant laborers and others are respected and upheld.
Last year, Make the Road helped more than 1,000 people learn English, obtain a GED and acquire computer skills to help them integrate into the community.
“We make it possible for workers to get the pay they deserve, young people to get an education and families get access to health care,” Archila said.
Crowley, who has been a leading proponent for immigration reform, also praised the group’s recent efforts for sending nearly 90 buses with people to Washington D.C. to rally for immigration reform.
“I believe with your support and your help we will get there,” Crowley said.