Head Program Director for ESOL Featured on UVA Today

Check out this wonderful interview and video from UVA Today with Nena Evans, a fourth-year statistics major at the University and the Head Program Director for Madison House's ESOL program. Here is an excerpt from the story:

Evans, a long-time Madison House volunteer, now serves as the head program director for its English Speakers of Other Languages Program. She takes great pride in seeing students progress through the program and enjoys collaborating with other program leaders on initiatives around the Charlottesville area.
As she prepares for graduation and life outside of Charlottesville, Evans sat down with UVA Today to discuss the University’s strong community of service and the impact that it’s had on her.
Q. In your video, you said that the first minute you stepped on Grounds you knew it was going to be your home. What made you feel that way?
A. When I think about the moment when I decided to come here, it was instantly when I stepped on the Lawn for Days on the Lawn. The band was playing, with the Rotunda on one side and the Lawn spread out on the other, and I was with a bunch of people who were so excited to be here, especially the people who were leading it.
Q. You’ve been involved in volunteer work since you started here. Why do you think there is such a strong commitment to service at UVA?
A. I think one part of it is that a lot of people come to UVA having done some type of service before, but I also think that everyone who goes to UVA really cares about Charlottesville, and one way that we care about the city is by giving back to it. To me, that means leaving this place better than the way that it was when I got here.
Q. The language-skills teaching you do through Madison House dives into a different type of education than your major in statistics. What made you choose that?
A. I’ll be honest, when I got here I didn’t even know what the English Speakers of Other Languages Program was. But one thing that I did know when I got here is that Charlottesville has a really large refugee population. That drew me into English as a second language, when I saw that it was a big need here because of the unique makeup of Charlottesville.
That work and statistics really don’t have a huge correlation, but being able to communicate is really important for both. To be an effective statistician, you have to be able to communicate well, especially in the job force. It’s imperative that you can speak in layman’s terms and have a normal conversation with someone when you’re trying to discuss statistical information and data.

To read the complete story and watch the video, please click HERE