Arnaud-Davy Mambanza

Arnaud arrived in Portland last year from Congo after being forced to separate from his wife and children because of political unrest. Though he speaks several native languages and French, Arnaud is currently a student in our free English Language & Literacy program. Each week, he receives six hours of intensive instruction from LearningWorks staff and volunteers to master the English language, learn about cultural norms and U.S. history, and prepare to enter the workforce.

Despite having degrees in both Chemistry and Petroleum Engineering and a prior career with Halliburton, Arnaud is currently unable to work in Maine. But he’s only a language away from reuniting his family and reestablishing a career. With LearningWorks’ help, he’ll continue to receive intensive instruction in the English language and American culture, enter the workforce, and achieve his dream of being able to provide a good life for his wife and three children.

When asked about how LearningWorks is having an impact on his life, Arnaud expressed his gratitude for our teachers’ ability to meet him where he is and the fellowship of new friends as he makes his way in a new country. “I really enjoy the enrichment activities and the way American culture is incorporated into the classes. This is important information for me to have. My class is awesome!”

Photography courtesy of Cheryl Greaney