The English-Speaking Union

News and Events

A Message from Chairman Dr. Quinn Peeper

Dear ESU Friends,

I am thrilled to announce that in June we will celebrate the 10th anniversary since the ESU Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC) became an integral part of the English-Speaking Union. Over the past decade, ARNIC has been a beacon of hope and opportunity for new immigrants, providing invaluable resources, education, and the support they need to integrate fully into U.S. economic and civic life.

For those of you unfamiliar with ARNIC, it is a free program that offers new immigrants English language classes, one-to-one conversation sessions with native English speakers and opportunities for civic and cultural learning.

ARNIC Students at the ESU Headquarters

One of the Center's newest initiatives is the Workforce Development Program launched two years ago with a major grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. It advances the economic integration of new immigrants by helping them to develop professional English proficiency and navigate the U.S. job market.

Job readiness English classes equip our students with the vocabulary and fluency needed to thrive in the workplace. A trained career advisor helps them to explore career paths, reviews their job applications and connects them to external resources. The cornerstone of the initiative is the professional mentoring program that matches immigrant job seekers with U.S. professionals who guide them toward reaching their career goals.

With pride, we can say that during the past ten years, more than 2,500 immigrants have passed through the Center's doors, benefiting from our programs and services. The Center's programs have been really effective. One hundred percent of the 395 students at the Center this past year reported improved English, 87% had acquired professional-level English skills and 93% felt more at home in the U.S. There was also a 23% decrease in unemployment among our students.

To commemorate the Center's 10th anniversary, we have launched a special fundraising campaign and invite you to join us in supporting ARNIC's continued mission. Your donation will have an even greater impact as ARNIC's long-term supporter, the Marietta and Andrew Romay Foundation, has generously offered a $25,000 challenge grant, matching all gifts made to the Center. 

Your contribution to the 10th-anniversary fundraising campaign will be instrumental in expanding our services to more immigrants and empowering them to build successful lives in their new country. By investing in our mission, you will be helping these newcomers to America to achieve economic stability, embrace their new home and contribute positively to our society.

To make your contribution and have it doubled, please visit

In addition to this celebration, I am pleased to report on the successful completion of the ESU 2024 National Shakespeare Competition. On April 15, 2024, the Competition returned to its cherished long-time home, the iconic Mitzi Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Forty-four semi-finalists came from all over the country, along with parents, ESU Branch coordinators, and supporters for a weekend of educational and cultural activities in New York City, including an acting workshop with Broadway veteran Erin Dilly, a double-decker bus tour of New York City and a performance of Kimberly Akimbo on Broadway. Perhaps best of all for these teenagers was the opportunity to spend a weekend in New York City with fellow young Shakespeare lovers from across the country. 

The Forty-four National Shakespeare Competition Semi-finalists

With his performances of Sonnet 17 and a moving monologue from Othello, Malachi White of the ESU New Orleans Branch won the English-Speaking Union's 41st Annual National Shakespeare Competition. Willow Peyton of West Virginia took second place while Evelyn Hall of the ESU San Francisco Branch placed third.

From Left to Right: Evelyn Hall, Malachi White, Willow Peyton

I encourage you to read the press release announcing the Competition winners and to peruse the event program to learn more about the talented participants and their remarkable performances.

Dear friends, let us celebrate the tremendous impact of the ESU educational programs. Let us give a round of applause to Malachi White, Willow Payton, Evelyn Hall and all the other contestants of the 2024 National Shakespeare Competition and wish them success in their future endeavors. Let us look ahead with optimism and excitement to the future of the ESU Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center which will build on the solid foundation established during its first ten years. 

With your generous support let's continue to transform lives.

With best regards,

Dr. E. Quinn Peeper
The English-Speaking Union

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