IEC volunteer spotlight

Stan Graham has volunteered at IEC for more than five years. He was born in the village of Wagner, Bahia State, Brazil and lived there the first 14 years. Besides volunteering, Stan also enjoys reading fiction, biographies and history. He currently assists in ESL classes and holds 2 math tutoring sessions each week. His volunteering helped many students and we are truly grateful for his gift of time and talent.

Stan will continue his work at IEC through June and then plans to move to Seattle. He will be greatly missed!

How long have you been volunteering at IEC?

I don’t remember precisely when I started, but it was when IEC was at 8th and Hennepin---probably around 2010. I mainly help in ESL classes, but also have taught math courses in past years.

Have you volunteered at other organizations before IEC? 

No. But, for several years I have served on the Board of University Retirees Volunteer Center (URVC), an organization affiliated with the University of Minnesota that searches for volunteering opportunities and for volunteers to fill those needs. It’s how I connected with IEC.

Why did you choose to volunteer here?

I had taught part-time at the University of St. Thomas for many years before I retired, and I wanted to continue in the education field. 

What do you enjoy most in your work at IEC?

Helping students wrestle with the English language, thinking constantly about how difficult it would be for me to learn a foreign language while living in a foreign land. Equally important is the friendship with students and staff. They are very friendly and helpful.

Do you have a message for our readers?

The effort and time have been worth it, a thousand times over. That’s been my experience. I’m always thanked as a volunteer, and I understand that. But, I’ve derived much more benefits from volunteering than I’ve given in services.

Enjoy Seattle, Stan – we’ll miss you!