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: firstname.lastname@example.org
At GPA, we are fortunate and grateful to have many volunteers who donate their time and talent to support our overall mission:
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.
Crystal Chon started volunteering with GPA’s ESOL program in January 2019. She enjoys helping out with lessons in the classroom and loves working with the students each week. She grew up in Seattle, WA and loves to hike and spend time outdoors when she visits home for the summers. In addition to volunteering with the program, Crystal enjoys reading, cool places, and good food.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Susan Zhou is a first year GPA volunteer, who is excited to join the team! Born and raised in Massachusetts, Susan is the child of Chinese immigrants and intimately familiar with how hard English can be to learn. Her professional background is in business consulting, corporate strategy, and sales, and, outside of work, she loves community engagement, cooking, and animals.