This summer, English Express is offering free online English and citizenship classes. English Express has been successful in supporting and helping students achieve learning English and obtain their U.S. citizenship status since 2016.
“Last week we just discovered one of our students received her citizenship,” said Mary Ann Hytken, founder and teacher of English Express. “That’s number 36 for our program. We’re very excited about that. We’re also offering citizenship in person, English language classes online and I’m also at Sun Valley Floral Farms every Wednesday to offer English classes to the employees there.”
English Express is a nonprofit dream-maker project through the Ink People. The purpose of English Express is to provide opportunities for English language learners in Humboldt County. Hytken said that English Express is best described by a student who recently opened her own business in the Eel River Valley area.
“She came to English Express not knowing a lot of English, stayed with us for two years, then transferred to College of the Redwoods and pursued her GED successfully and then continued and came back to get her citizenship,” Hytken said. “She’s now a U.S. citizen and then took the final step and applied for her business license. And that ultimately is our wish for every program participant.”
Currently, Hytken said that they are trying to raise $10,000 to keep the doors open for the free classes offered. She is encouraging people to go to their website and donate.
“I really invite and encourage people to donate to this vital program, so please help us keep our doors open, keep everything free,” Hytken said. “Please go to our website englishexpressempowered.com, [and] hit donate. If you like paper and pen like I do, you could write a check to the Ink People and send it to P.O. Box 111 in Cutten 95534.”
Former student, Martha Jasso, describes her experience through the English Express as a safe, welcoming, and positive environment where she was able to grow and take the skills learned to new areas of work and overall life.
“Now I can apply for my citizenship and I say thank you [to] English Express and Ms.Mary Ann because she empowered me,” Jasso said. “Now I am waiting for my appointment and I think I am next citizenship.”