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PUENTE Learning Center

Volunteer: Andy Lippman

PUENTE Learning Center (People United to Enrich the Neighborhood Through Education) builds bridges to learning and opportunity for Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, and beyond.

 

Andy Lippman was first introduced to PUENTE Learning Center when he served as a board member in the 1990s. Beginning in 2004, he dedicated one day a week to help students practice English and to provide American History lessons to upper level English as a Second Language (ESL) students. In time, he started an ESL Conversation Lunch Club that met once a week during break. His students loved his stories about the famous people he met as a journalist, and they were hungry to know about US history and culture. In 2016, Mr. Lippman began teaching a one-hour citizenship class once a week to help PUENTE adult students study for the citizenship exam. He brought his own creativity to the class by including music, guest speakers, food and photo books. In the midst of the pandemic, Andy’s work has not slowed down. Though he can’t meet students in-person, he emails and calls students leading up to the citizenship test providing one-on-one support and words of encouragement. When a student has an interview date, Andy spends hours with them on the phone outside of class to practice until they feel confident and have their answers memorized. In the past 7 years, Andy Lippman has helped 69 immigrants become US citizens. Mr. Lippman remains a friend to all his students, calling them or sending them emails to remind them to vote. Success for Andy is measured by how many students register to vote and vote for the first time. Over the past three decades, Mr. Lippman has accomplished exemplary volunteer service and contributed greatly to PUENTE Learning Center’s impact on the community.