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Columbus Adult Education Center
1860 South 300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
The mission of the Columbus Adult Education Center and Youth Programs is to help refugee, immigrant, and other communities develop the English skills necessary to become self-reliant, contributing citizens.
The Columbus Adult Education Center and Youth Programs began as the Columbus Branch Adult Center, and it was originally created to meet the needs of a small congregation within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The center originally consisted of Karen and Karenni speaking families; it now serves adults and youth from other countries.
Recognizing that the acquisition of English skills would be essential for non-English speakers–in order to acquire good jobs, earn GEDs or high school diplomas, and have the opportunity for higher education–local church members were determined to help.
In March 2016, the Columbus Branch Adult Center was conceived by inner city missionaries, Jeffrey and Sonia Henkel. With the support of David Brusch, the designated leader (referred to as Branch President), and Sean Marchant (congregational Stake President), the center was started. Matt Peterson, (current Branch President) also gives his full support.
“Learning the English language is the first step for these courageous students to acclimate to their new culture, become self-sufficient and contribute to the communities in which they live,” said Matt Peterson. “I hope volunteers recognize their part in empowering these humble students to change their lives for the better.”
Now known as the Columbus Adult Education Center and Youth Programs, the center is expanding and includes students from a variety of origins and backgrounds living in the area. As the program continues to grow, new elements are being added to further develop English and other basic skill sets.