Trudy-Ann Ewan spent 20 years in the corporate world before a trip to Brazil changed her life.
“A few years ago I decided I wanted to give back,” she said. “I saw how difficult it is for people who speak Portuguese [to learn English.]
So Ewan started volunteering at the Queens Library, teaching English and citizenship preparation at the Adult Learning Center.
“It was very successful,” she said. “All my students passed their exams.”
She even received recognition for her work from the Queens Library, for which she is very proud.
When the Adult Learning Center closed, Ewan decided to open her own business.
She took inspiration from an Indian film and named the company Swaades, which loosely translates to “not of one’s country.”
Her classes started getting bigger, with more enrollment.
Today Swaades International offers citizenship classes, ESOL classes, immigration services and case management.
Ewan, who has a degree in communications and liberal arts, also helps immigrants prepare for and pass the USCIS Citizenship Exam. They also assist students in improving their English and passing their citizenship test so they can realize the American Dream.
With locations in Queens and the Bronx, Swaades also offers Adult Basic Education Classes for students who already speak English but want to improve their reading and writing, and English for Work Classes for intermediate and advanced speakers looking for work or already employed and want a better job.
To learn more, go to www.swaades.org.