Raymond Garcia

Raymond Garcia is a dynamic and creative ESL, Art and Citizenship instructor with experience in multiple facets of language and U.S. Civics education. Ray has an extensive teaching experience at multi-levels. He has been a volunteer teacher since 2012 at the Emerald Isle Immigration Center Citizenship/Naturalization classes as well as in classes of English as a Second Language.

Ray has a Bachelor of Science in Visual Communications and certifications in New York City Conditional License in Commercial Arts. New York City Occasional Per Diem Vocational Teacher. Passed the New York State Teaching Examinations: L.A.S.T. (05/03) and A.T.W. (07.03).

Max Miller

Max has been volunteering with Emerald Isle since 2018. He is currently studying at CUNY City College for his Master’s in Education with a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. He spent one year in Spain as a Language Assistant, forming the bedrock of his education experience. He looks forward to teaching in NYC public schools when he completes his degree, and he’s happy to learn with and from NYC’s future American citizens through Emerald Isle.

Andrea Wilches

Andrea is a passionate educator, with extensive experience teaching in the United States and abroad. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese and received her Master’s degree in Bilingual/Bicultural Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has been teaching in NYC public schools for the last 10 years.

Eva Khatana

Eva Khatana has been teaching ESL to students of all levels and ages for over 33 years. Ms. Khatana is an avid volunteer with New York Cares participating in many diverse projects over the past several years.

Eva hold a Master’s in TESOL from Hunter College, CUNY and a BA in English from NYU. She has taught ESL to adults through the NYC Board of Education, and initiated the ESL program at the South Huntington school district in Huntington, Long Island.

Orion Anderson

Orion Anderson has been teaching English to adults for over 15 years. He holds a BA in English Language/Letters from Ithaca College and an ESOL Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults from the University of Cambridge. Passionately interested in other people and cultures, he has taught in New York and Japan, and has traveled extensively throughout Asia, Europe and the United States. He currently lives in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Neil Giannelli has channeled his love of American History into his vocation, first teaching at the high school level for 30 years and now helping adults prepare for their American Citizenship exam. A native of New York City, he has a Master’s Degree from New York University and has also attended CW Post and Polytechnic University.


Volunteers are an essential part of our Education Program. They are high skilled and committed, providing one-on-one and small group tutoring to help promote new citizens-to-be social and civic integration.


Our volunteers are recruited from through NY Cares, universities, colleges, and the local community. They have different backgrounds in ESL, law, philanthropy, community work, education, advocacy, technology, and immigration.

To get more information about how to get involved, please contact Liz Baber at

2018 Volunteer Appreciation Event

See photo album here

2017 Volunteer Appreciation Event

2016 Volunteer Appreciation Event

See photo album here.