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About PESLSF


PESLSF students hard at work

As a refugee resettlement site, Portland has long welcomed refugees and immigrants. Many coming to Portland are professionals or were in school to become professionals. While the United States has provided them a safe place to call home, the move to Portland is life-altering on many levels. The newcomers juggle acculturation, family responsibilities and work.

For many newcomers, a lack of language skills is the barrier to a new life here. To continue their careers in Maine, they need more than basic proficiency in English. While Portland receives high marks for offering basic English classes that are free to non-native speakers, the advanced language courses needed to pass certification or to succeed in college are not. The costs can be prohibitive.

The Portland English as a Second Language Scholarship Fund is the only organization in the area that offers financial aid for this need. Financial aid goes to any member of the refugee and immigrant community. Our scholarships help cover the cost of attending a class for advanced English, or to learn the English required for a specific profession.