Volunteers & Volunteer Opportunities

Our volunteers assist the students and staff in countless ways. We welcome you to join our team of extraordinary volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact the Program Director, Michelle Duval via e-mail:  m.duval@live.com

At GPA, we are fortunate and grateful to have many volunteers who donate their time and talent to support our overall mission:

Jane Ansin learned Spanish as a second language while living overseas and credits her devoted tutors for helping her achieve proficiency in their native tongue. That cultural and linguistic experience shaped the direction of her career and she went on to spend a decade working as a bilingual educator in CA.  There she co-founded a K-5 public school in the Fruitvale community of Oakland, aimed at closing the achievement gap while fostering a college-going culture. GPA’s holistic vision of serving students drew her to their ESOL program. She recognizes English proficiency as a key lever to success for immigrant and refugee families in this country and is honored to support them as they grow their English language skills.

Amy AbuShanab started volunteering with GPA when she moved to Boston in 2016. She loves to help teach English as a form of empowerment and community engagement and previously spent a year teaching English in Palestine. In her spare time, Amy enjoys traveling, hiking, and playing piano. In her professional life, Amy is the Assistant Director at the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University, working with a research team that helps shape policies, programs and practices which improve the lives of people with disabilitieson community, and looks forward to class with the students each week!

Terry Armstrong has a B.A. in Biology and has worked in healthcare clinical labs for 20 years. When she was younger, she lived in a house for international students for four years. It was a real education and led to an interest in politics and international affairs. Terry also had a lifelong interest in the middle east because her father worked there while she was young. Most recently, she has developed an interest in the Syrian refugee crisis and she was frustrated to sit by and unable to do something about it. She finally traveled to Greece and worked in a refugee camp for a month over the summer of 2017. When she came back she wanted to continue to help refugees and immigrants here in Boston and found the Adult Education Program at GPA did just that.

Melissa Banta works as a curator at Harvard University. Her specialty is historical photographs (Harvard has over 10 million of them). She also works at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. She writes about the history of the Cemetery, where many famous people were buried. She has three children and lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Sam Bessey has volunteered at ESOL for almost a year helping adults learn English. During the day, he works as a chemical engineer in the Biotech industry designing new production facilities. Prior to the ESOL program he also tutored adults in the math section of the GED.

Marilyn Clark is a recently retired primary care physician who now enjoys volunteering in the community in other ways. She lives in Brookline and has 3 grown kids. Her interests include birding, hiking and traveling, reading and visiting museums.  Marilyn looks forward to learning with  and meeting you all here at GPA.

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Danielle Gauthier is a first year volunteer with GPA’s ESOL program. Throughout her college years, she volunteered at a local refugee center and following graduation, she taught English to middle school and high school students in Germany. Danielle now works at a consulting firm that partners with nonprofit organizations, and in her free time, enjoys traveling, reading, and hiking. Danielle is grateful for the chance to work with the dedicated students of GPA and help them in their English language learning.

Diane Gordon has volunteered at the ESOL program at Gardner Pilot since January 2017. She was motivated to work directly with immigrants because she wants to be the face of America that reflects who we really are as a country, and to help immigrants learn the skills they need to feel safe and to pursue their own goals in the United States. In her professional life, she has worked with community based nonprofit organizations for over 35 years as a leader, manager, and consultant.

William Moon is a first-year volunteer for GPA academy. He comes from a family of Korean immigrants and grew up in Seattle, Washington. He hopes to help those like his parents to improve their English and be comfortable with the community around them. He is currently a student at Boston University with an interest in Sociology and Pre-med. He does Taekwondo for fun and is planning to get his black belt soon.

Keishi Nambara is a 1st year volunteer at GPA’s ESOL program. Since education in Boston has tremendously helped him facilitate his growth, he hopes to give back to his community through tutoring. Keishi is originally from Okinawa, Japan, and he graduated from Northeastern University in 2018 with a B.S. in biology. He currently works as a clinical research coordinator at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In his spare time, he loves to play the piano, exercise at his local gym, and learn Spanish.

Janice Neiman was inspired to volunteer by the tenacity of the students learning and improving their English. Learning another language is challenging and she wants to help make it as fun and accessible as possible. When she is not working with criminal justice policy and research, Janice loves to read and is a certified group fitness instructor.

Angela Snyder looked to volunteering to get more involved with the community, and was excited to find an opportunity to help with education and work with adults. Angela works as an engineer in medical devices, and in her free time Angela enjoy knitting, crocheting, working out, and spending time with her husband and two cats, Lola and Bruce.
Su Tran is an undergraduate student studying Biochemistry at Boston University. I was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the US when I was six years old. Growing up in an immigrant family surrounded by others like us, I admired the resilience and strength in the adults around. I recognizes that using and understanding English is a very advantageous skill to have, and loves that GPA’s ESOL program is providing an accessible way for everyone to learn the language. I hope to be supportive and encouraging during my time at GPA so that the students are more confident and comfortable with English.

Hermelinda Zegarra is from Chaclacayo, Peru. After my daughter enrolled college I decide to became a volunteer at Gardner pilot academy ESOL program. I was a student years ago in this program. I really enjoy assisting the teacher and students in class and seeing how the students after a long day of hard work come to classes eager to learn English. My hobbies included embroidering, knitting,cooking, and gardening.

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