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Potencia began as a class project to empower immigrants and refugees in the community. Although a language is a key to survival and employment, we were struck by how many people lived without a basic means of communication. 

Since launching the pilot class in 2019 with three tutors and four learners, Potencia has been broadening its community impact.


The Problem

Language barriers can prevent individuals from improving their economic standing and integrating into the community, creating gaps that worsen racial inequity and economic inequality. In Greater Boston, only 5% of ESOL learning needs are being met (Boston Foundation, 2019). The situation is similar nationwide. In addition to the immense gap between the limited supply and the large demand of adult ESOL classes, many learners find it difficult to access classes tailored to their learning needs, budgets, family demands, and work schedule.

Our Mission

Potencia is committed to reimagining language learning for adults living in the U.S. with limited English skills so they are equipped to operate more effectively in their daily lives. Our unique model leverages civic-minded college students as tutors to train and lead affordable and flexible individual and small-group English language classes.

Meet the Team

Board of Directors

Joel Aranson

Principal, Corporate Strategy



Kit Manning

Associate Director


Tufts Corporate & Foundation Relations (ret.)

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Catherine Popper

Angel Investor

Launchpad Venture Group

Our Supporters

Foundation & Corporate Sponsors

Business Partners

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