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  Our History

Learn English Ministry Inc. (LEM) began when Barbara Garaygordobil, director and founder of the organization, began to ask herself what more she could do to really make a difference in her community. As a child, her family lived internationally, and later, as an adult, she lived in China. From these experiences, Mrs. Garaygordobil experienced firsthand the problems one encounters when one cannot understand the common language surrounding them.

Many years later, as Mrs. Garaygordobil contemplated the best way to make a difference, her experiences living internationally inspired her to reach out to others who face the same language dilemma. She realized, on Christmas morning of 2007, that she could make an impact by teaching English to non-English speakers FREE OF CHARGE. She decided to parlay her 30 years of business acumen into creating the Learn English Ministry Inc.. Initially, she envisioned recruiting a friend and working together to teach an English as a Second Language (ESL) class at her church. Little did she know that her mission would touch thousands of lives. Before the doors were opened for the first ESL class in August of 2008, hundreds of students had pre-registered for the classes; hundreds of volunteers had rallied to teach the classes; and churches and community centers had generously opened their doors to host ESL classes.

Remarkably, Learn English Ministry, Inc. has taught more than 8,000 immigrant and refugee adults from more than 80 countries. To accomplish this, we have recruited more than 3,000 volunteers. What started out as a small endeavor has grown exponentially since its inception and Learn English Ministry Inc., Inc. is now a dynamic and thriving non-profit volunteer-run organization.