Patricia Lorenz, Executive Director of Welcoming the Stranger, will discuss the program on Zoom for the Newtown Quaker Meeting adult class at 9:45 a.m. on First Day (Sunday), January 30, 2022.
Patricia Lorenz is a native of Colombia and a bilingual Human Resources
professional with a BS in Social Work and extensive education and experience in
performance management and workforce engagement and training. Before coming to the United States, she directed HR departments with as many as 450 employees and taught classes at the National University of Colombia.
Welcoming the Stranger (https://welcomingthestranger.org) is an educational non-profit that offers free classes in English as a Second Language (ESL), computer skills, and United States citizenship exam preparation to adult immigrants and refugees in the Philadelphia metro region.
Founded in 1999, Welcoming the Stranger has taught over 4,900 students from 104 different countries. Financial support comes from individuals, places of worship, and local businesses, as well as grants from area foundations, which allows all programs to remain free of charge for students.
Mobilizing up to 100 volunteers, more than twenty classes are offered each term. Classes are held both day and evening. Over the past several years, classes have been offered in Bensalem, Doylestown, Hatboro, Harleysville, Lambertville, Langhorne, Levittown, Morrisville, Newtown, Northeast Philadelphia, Southampton, and Warminster. Classes are often located in churches and community centers. Due to the pandemic, currently all classes are online.
Ms. Lorenz’s association with Welcoming the Stranger began in 2016, when she
was a student seeking greater English fluency. In February of 2018, she became
the first person to fill the newly designated staff position of Administrative
Assistant. She became the organization’s Acting Director, in March 2020, upon
the departure of Executive Director Meg Eubank. In early 2021, after participating
in citizenship exam preparation classes taught by Welcoming the Stranger
volunteers, she became a naturalized United States citizen and on January 1, 2022, Ms. Lorenz assumed the title of Executive Director.