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News release

Changes in store for Providence in the Desert

For the past 15 years, immigrants in California’s Coachella Valley have come to Providence in the Desert for the opportunity to learn English and broaden their horizons. In fact, this ministry served 75 students during the 2016-2017 school year.

However, a bittersweet decision has been made: The 2017-2018 school year will be the last year for Providence in the Desert in its present form.

Sisters Loretta and Carol in California’s Coachella Valley.

Providence in the Desert Director Sister Carol Nolan and the ministry’s Advisory Board have been planning for their students’ future these past several months. “There are quite a few students who are sufficiently advanced so that they could enter the Coachella Valley Adult School at the third or fourth level (of four levels) for full-time intensive study of English and the opportunity to work toward their GED, a high school equivalency certificate,” said Sister Carol.

At the Adult School, students can pursue intensive study full-time in English and can earn their GED (general educational development). However, to take full advantage of this opportunity, students would need to leave their work in the fields and focus full-time on their studies. The ministry’s goal is to provide living expenses for as many students as possible.

Martha Langarica is someone who started out as a student with Providence in the Desert and excelled at her ESL classes. Thanks to a corporate scholarship, she was able to continue her studies full-time and now teaches ESL classes herself, in addition to working full-time for the company that provided her scholarship.

To help their former students continue their education, Providence in the Desert has initiated a Scholarship Project fund. Providence in the Desert is working with businesses in California and beyond to raise funds for these students, but also relies upon contributions from individuals. If you or someone you know would like to donate to the Scholarship Project, please visit www.ProvidenceInTheDesert.org and click on “Donate” at the upper right-hand corner of the page (or simply click here). Please check the box next to “Providence in the Desert’s Scholarship Project Fund.”

You may also mail a check (made payable to Providence in the Desert, with “Scholarship Project” noted in the memo line) to our Development Director, Mary Tomlinson, SP, 4613 Grove Ave., Brookfield, IL 60513. No amount is too small!

About the Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence, a congregation of 214 women religious, with 300 Providence Associates, collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. The Sisters of Providence have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located just northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind., which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Asia, through works of love, mercy and justice. More information about the Sisters of Providence and their ministries can be found at SistersofProvidence.org.

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Katie Cramer

Katie Cramer contributed marketing support for Guerin Outreach ministries.

Media contact

For inquiries or information, contact Jason Moon at jmoon@spsmw.org or 812-535-2810.

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