Founder Sr. Corine Murray, PBVM, at right, served as executive director from 2002 to 2016. Dora Serna, center, was a student at the center and is now a Presentation associate.

The Presentation Lantern Center is a drop-in center offering hospitality, educational opportunities, and advocacy to immigrants as well as to others who are striving to improve their lives.  The Center is sponsored by the Sisters of the Presentation of Dubuque, Iowa.

English lessons are conducted in one-to-one tutoring sessions, and all the tutors work on a volunteer basis.  Also among the outreach programs offered by the Center are private lessons to help aspiring immigrants study for their citizenship tests. In some cases, financial help is available to immigrants who might not be able to afford the $725 fee to complete the citizenship process.  So far 78 of the 78 Lantern Center students who have taken the citizenship test have passed. Most schools would be pretty envious of that 100% graduation rate. The center also provides other advocacy services such as connecting students with Iowa Legal Aid, and helping them through the daunting negotiations of issues such as housing and medical matters.

The Center also finds great satisfaction in the rapport built up between tutors and students which carries through in their personal lives. This creates an on-going support for the students even when they they discontinue their language and citizenship studies.

Visitors are always welcome to come in and observe the Center and the constructive interactions between tutors and students.  The Center is a wonderful example of diversity, mutual acceptance and personal success in action.  It offers a model of how new people to the country can improve their lives and become part of the fabric of the American experience.