Other honorees included instructor Rosanna Chisholm who has been with the LINC program for 25 years and Maria Bos-Chan who has been an integral part of training tutors for the Access2English program.

The Celebration of Learning event featured a dessert reception, photo booth, prize draws, and performances from students.

“It was a wonderful evening which symbolized hope, learning, confidence and friendships in a new world summated with a rendition of “What a Wonderful World ” by the staff,” said Manpreet Grewal, Director of Multicultural and Immigrant Integration Services.

“Our programs are so much more than an ESL class,” said Mannington. “it’s a small community where people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds become friends who support and encourage one another. The classes help foster a sense of belonging and encourage our students to become valuable members of our community.”

Abbotsford Community Services has been offering adult English classes to newcomers for over 25 years. In addition to language classes, the ACS Multicultural and Immigrant Integration Services department connect newcomers to the wider community in a variety of ways. Settlement workers give guidance to adults and help integrate immigrant and refugee children into schools. There are also specialized employment services to help skilled immigrants find relevant work in the local workforce.