“The Lantern Center is a place where I can directly see the impact goodness can play on people’s lives, which is the reason why I am so glad I am a part of it!” said Julia Norton, ‘20.
The Lantern Center is a local hospitality center that helps immigrants learn English, study for the citizenship test and become more accustomed to life in Iowa.
During Norton’s sophomore year, the Lantern Center came and talked at Wahlert’s Dance Marathon. “I reached out to them after Dance Marathon, and I have been volunteering for them ever since,” said Norton.
The Lantern Center is constantly busy and in need of any type of help, which keeps the volunteering exciting.
“I do a variety of different things from acting as secretary, to cleaning, to talking with students or even just playing with the children, so their parents can focus on their classes,” stated Norton.
The Lantern Center plays such a huge role in immigrants’ lives. From being a safe environment to allow immigrants to grow in their skills, it is a local hub for people from around the world.
“There is nothing more fulfilling than watching someone pass a citizenship test after studying their whole life,” said Norton.
“It is such an incredible place!” said Norton. Many immigrants struggle with feeling welcome and secure, but the Lantern Center does a great job in creating a place where people can lean on each other. It helps immigrants empower themselves and take control of their lives by giving them more opportunities and assistance along the way.
“Everyone deserves to feel welcome in their community,” said Norton. “And the Lantern Center does a great job in doing that!”
The Lantern Center has not only changed the lives of the immigrants they are helping, but they also have created a place where Dubuque citizens can grow into improved service-oriented people.
“The Lantern Center has turned into my home away from home,” said Norton, “We are all a family!”