The León NOE Center is our first location outside of our state, opening in October of 2015. León is a city of 1.8 million people a little over two hours north of Morelia where our other two centers are located. There's a great reason for this exciting expansion outside of our "home base". Dave Munson, former NOE intern and current CEO of the Saddleback Leather Company is partnering with NOE International to operate this center in order to serve employees of the company, their children, and members of the community.
NOE alumna Seydel Gil, a former student of Dave's, is the director of NOE León. She says, "That's what NOE has taught me all these years: that in God, dreams do come true, and sometimes even faster than you expect them to." Since NOE doesn't have a long history in León, we are currently working to earn community members trust by offering high-quality programming and authentic relationships. We currrently serve 60 students and we're excited about what the future holds!
(L-R): Mireya and Brian Overcast, with Suzette and Dave Munson, cut the ribbon to open the new NOE Center in León
Many families came to celebrate on opening day and check out class offerings
Here's what's happening at NOE León:
The biggest draw at NOE León is the English program. Many of our adult students work at Saddleback Leather Company, and more of their kids are coming each term as well. Employees in Mexico who speak English make an average of 30% - 50% more in wages, providing stable jobs for families. Fortunately, English takes years to learn which helps us form relationships with our students.
Elementary students working hard studying English
Our program is accredited by the Secretary of Public Education in Mexico to award diplomas to students who satisfactorily complete the four-year junior high/high school English program. This diploma certifies that recipients have achieved a level of English adequate to use in the workplace as a teacher or translator. We are an approved “Centro de Formación de Trabajo” which literally means a “Center for Development of Workers.” Our accreditation code with the State Department of Education is 16PBT0514M.
English students who excel in the program can apply for the "Dream Team" and spend a month in the USA.
Computer skills are key to a bright employment future. We offer computer classes to adults who may not have had the opportunity in school. Students love learning skills that will help them in the office, keep up on world news, and stay connected with friends and family.
NOE students learn key skills and make new friends
Patient and caring teachers help students with their homework from public school, as well as NOE classes. This focused tutoring is not widely available in the schools, especially to the children we serve.
Daniela helps NOE students with their math homework
Parenting School Workshops
Many of our students come from broken families, which can negatively impact their ability to succeed in their education. We hold periodic workshops at NOE León called Escuela Para Padres, or Parenting School. Husband and wife team Isaías and Betty give parents the tools and encouragement they need to succeed in their challenging role as parents.
Isaías teaches at a recent workshop
Explorers Bible Club
Explorers is a program for elementary-age children where they play fun games and learn about the Bible. Many children who aren't even old enough for NOE classes come weekly to make friends and hear the truth of the Gospel.
NOE students play a game at Explorers
Check Out Our Other Centers
Teachers share their faith in all programs at NOE - we have a weekly Bible verse in English classes, for example. We also offer more direct opportunities for students to learn about, worship, and serve God. Youth group is evangelistic in nature; games that attract neighborhood youth and a message shared about he hope of the Gospel. At youth group, students build relationships with NOE staff and volunteers who intentionally speak about the hope they have in Jesus.