Retired Nurse Helps English Language Learners in Iowa

This week, Jean Wilson is one of our “50 Faces of Volunteers” in Iowa.

Jean is a volunteer with the English Language Learning program at 8th & College Connections in Des Moines where she is an English tutor. After a long career as a nurse, Jean was excited to begin her second career as a volunteer and give back to the community. In her current role, Jean cares for the mental health and well-being of the people she serves, and is able to help her students learn and grow as they develop new skills. She has been a volunteer for 5 years, and contributes to the ELL program year round.

Veronica Stafford, who nominated Jean for her wok with the ELL program says that, “Jean truly forms an individual relationship with each of her students. She knows what strengths they have aside from their English language abilities. She listens to their problems, and she follows-up with them to see how they are progressing. In this way, Jean serves as the best kind of representative for native English-speakers in Iowa. Her compassion and welcoming attitude allow her to quickly form not just relationships but actual friendships with her students. As a friend, Jean walks her students through the complexities of English grammar and shares her sense of humor.”


Jean is an active volunteer with multiple organizations throughout the Des Moines area, and is always willing to be involved with every aspect of the operation of the Engligh Language Learning program, including attending teachers meetings, sitting on the ELL advisory board, cleaning closets, or organizing supplies. In 2015 she accrued over 150 hours of volunteer hours.

Thank you for all of your service, Jean!

What’s your 50? For more information about the Governor’s Call to Service, and to find volunteer opportunities statewide, visit

Can you nominate someone to be one of our 50 Faces of Volunteers? Fill out this quick spotlight form and help us recognize outstanding volunteers in Iowa:

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