Schae Richards, community editor
The English Language Center (ELC) of Cache Valley is a non-profit organization in North Logan that serves adult immigrants through instructional courses on English and basic life skills.
Jessica Francom, assistant director for the ELC of Cache Valley, said this organization is committed to helping its students succeed and find happiness in life.
Jessica first came to Cache Valley to attend Utah State University. She received her undergraduate in family and child studies and later earned her master’s degree in second language.
Her first experience at the ELC of Cache Valley was in 2008. A friend of hers was volunteering at the organization at the time and connected Jessica with the former director, Rhonda Kingsford.
Jessica started working at the ELC of Cache Valley by doing home visits and working one-on-one with mothers. Since then, she has taught different courses at the organization. She became assistant director last year.
As the assistant director, Jessica oversees the teachers and classrooms, develops the assessments and programs, and helps with the finances and budgeting. She also gets to teach every now and then.
Jessica said her favorite part of working at the ELC of Cache Valley is interacting with the students.
“I love people; I have a big heart,” she said. “I like to help people through their struggles in life.”
She said the ELC of Cache Valley is making a difference by opening up opportunities for people.
“Language is the key to open opportunities,” she said. “These people don’t have that key. It warms my heart to help people have these opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have them.”
The ELC of Cache Valley is made up of 80-90 different courses taught throughout the year, ranging from pre-literate to pre-university English level classes, to U.S citizenship preparation, to basic computer literacy classes, to basic life skills instruction.
Jessica enjoys being in the classroom as much as possible and watching each student learn and grow.
“I love seeing the students progress through our program,” she said. “It’s exciting to see their smiles. This a second home for them. They feel loved and accepted.”
Similarly, Cynthia Mathews, a level 5 teacher at the ELC of Cache Valley, said the organization offers a safe place for its students to learn. She said there is always a family-like atmosphere present.
“This is not an institution; it’s a family,” she said.
Cynthia has taught at the ELC of Cache Valley for about 13 years and has loved every minute of it.
“I have taught in my different settings, but this place stands out,” she said.
Jessica said the volunteers play an important role to the success of their program.
“There isn’t a single volunteer that doesn’t learn,” Jessica said.
Carole Holland has been a volunteer at the ELC of Cache Valley for almost three years and enjoys connecting with the students.
“I love connecting with people and seeing those other connections and their confidence,” she said. “I have become much more confident in myself, and my perspective has changed. It’s like traveling the world, and all you have to do is drive to North Logan.”
Jessica invites people from the community to learn more about their program and what opportunities are available.
“We are helping the minority become stronger and opening other people’s eyes,” Jessica said. “ . . . We come together for the goal of love. I encourage people to look outside of their comfort zone.”