An estimated 41% of DC's low-wage workers are immigrants, but without a command of the English language, career advancement is nearly impossible and time and money for classes are scarce. So Washington English Center fills the gap, providing excellent and affordable English instruction at convenient hours: six days a week, day and night. A team of more than 350 volunteer teachers and tutors offers a sequence of classes from beginner to advanced, focusing on both written and verbal communication and serving 1,700 students each year. Citizenship preparation, computer classes, and a workforce readiness program (including one-on-one job coaching, interview preparation, and job fair field trips) further build skills and empower students. For many, WEC is a community as much as a classroom the place where they learn, connect, and take the first steps toward achieving the American dream. You can help make this dream a reality.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 2

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 2

Age Groups Served: Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+)

Ethnic Groups Served: Latino/Hispanic; Other

Population(s) Served: All; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members


  • Number of immigrants served:   Over 1,000 annually
  • Number of volunteers working with Language ETC:   Over 300 each three month term
  • Students that advance to the next ESL level:   80%

Awards & Recognition

Featured in Catalogue for Philanthropy, 2005
Featured in Catalogue for Philanthropy, 2009
Featured in Catalogue for Philanthropy, 2014

Press

  • Not enough English classes as number of limited-English speakers rises
    Fri Sep 20 2013, VOXXI  
    The rise in the number of limited-English speakers and the shortage of English classes is not only happening in Arizona.

Budget (FY2016)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for Washington English Center is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

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