Raising two bi-lingual daughters has been an interesting and rewarding challenge for our family. My wife is Russian, and we met in St. Petersburg, and spoke mainly Russian together during the 14 years that I lived there. Our daughters, Vanessa and Adriana, were also born in St. Petersburg, and accordingly spent the first years of their lives in a Russian-speaking environment. Vanessa, our oldest daughter, even had the opportunity to attend a pre-school in St. Petersburg for a year.
In the spring of 2014, however, my wife was accepted to graduate school in the United States, and so we moved to Minnesota in July of that year. At that point Vanessa was 4 years and 2 months old, while Adriana was 2 years and 3 months old.
In December,our school reached the important milestone of one year since its inception. Along with our students, we learned a lot over the last year. We were presented with a number of great opportunities and overcame unexpected challenges.
This year we focused on taking care of our clients, doing things right the first time and making sure that promises made were kept—to our clients, our instructors, translators and one another.
We are most proud of the following accomplishments in 2013:
Launched both group-based and private Russian, Mandarin, Arabic and ESL lessons in five Chicago neighborhoods
Launched online Russian and Arabic classes for children and adults in small towns in Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Washington and Colorado who otherwise would not have had access to these languages in their hometowns
Launched ESL instruction for children and adults in Russia
Hired new teachers for four different languages all around the U.S.
Expanded globally to attract new students from Europe and Eurasia
Helped the non-profit Upwardly Global to provide jobs for two talented candidates