SLE: Then & Now

The summer 2015 intern team, together at Halcyon House!

The summer 2015 intern team, together at Halcyon House!

The 2014-2015 school year has come to a close. What were we up to this time last year? What’s going on now? We’re pretty stoked to share.



SLE was on two campuses: Brandeis and Brown. We’re not only going strong at Brandeis and Brown, but we’ve also expanded to Williams, Tufts, Columbia, and Vassar. And further expansion is in the works!
We had offered 17 languages, including Cantonese, Bengali, and Tagalog. Our language list grew to 32. Our new offerings include Vietnamese, Somali and Haitian Creole.
A year ago, we were supported 100% by philanthropy. We’ve secured our first university subscription funders.
We were fiscally sponsored by Ashoka. SLE is now an independent 501c3.
This time last summer, we had 20 volunteers and no employees. Our SLE family has grown to 50+ volunteers, 5 interns, 1 full time employee, and we’re looking to hire!
SLE Central was working from Boston coffee shops. We have a new work home in the prestigious Halcyon Incubator in Washington, D.C.


Any other exciting updates from the past year?

Yes indeed! SLE…

worked with professors and graduate students from GW’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy to build an evaluation strategy.
launched a successful crowd funding campaign (THANK YOU WONDERFUL CROWD).
rebuilt our trainings and curriculum.
assembled an all star board of directors and advisory council.
was named a semi-finalist for the Echoing Green Fellowship and the J.M.K. Innovation Prize.
was featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education (hard copy), The Atlantic, Forbes, U.S.A. Today, and The Huffington Post.
was invited to speak at the SEEED Summit, SXSW, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language National Convention Plenary Panel.


We’re thriving, and we have a rich vision for the future. And for that, we THANK YOU: you are a vital member of the SLE community. Your curiosity, your support, your word-spreading, your world-loving— that’s how we exist, and how we grow. We’re grateful you’re with us.








Givens Parr

Givens Parr

Givens, a senior at Brown University, studies Mandarin, Classical Chinese, and Portuguese. She dances swing and blues when words fail her.

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