Blog Community Lengua Nativa - Native Tongue

Lengua Nativa – Native Tongue

By Lydia Groenendyk, August 6, 2019

Native Tongue – Lengua Nativa
Jefferson High School is a North Portland public school with a lot more to offer than just Championship games and hallway gossip. Aside from their Middle College program in partnership with PCC and their esteemed dance company the “Jefferson Dancers”, it is one of 5 high schools in the Portland metro area that works with SEI (Self Enhancement Inc.) on site. “SEI is (a) comprehensive, one-stop resource for youth and families, primarily African Americans and others living in poverty or seeking culturally responsive services” They’ve been providing their expansive services to these communities for over 25 years.

A few years ago, my brother and I met a woman who was teaching an after-hours ESL class for native Spanish speakers at Jefferson HS. She was leaving the school for another job opportunity, and that’s where Adrian and I stepped in. We met with Raul, a coordinator with SEI and volunteered to formulate a curriculum in order to continue to keep this service afloat. Two nights a week, for two hours, our students study and exercise their language skills with us.

After 2 months of word of mouth promotion, our enrollment had tripled. We have an excellent retention rate with a strong follow-through from our students, the majority who have been with us for 2 years.
Our mission is to expand. We would like to see our program become accessible to more schools and communities who would benefit from a service such as Native Tongue.

Lydia Groenendyk


Originally from New Mexico, Lydia moved to Portland in the summer of 2012. She brings over 5 years of sales experience, media marketing and client acquisition, business to business sales. Lydia’s love for real estate and architecture, as well as her passion for community building and advocating for her clients led her to her current career as a real estate broker. Lydia’s goal in all client relationships is to build a strong foundation based on trust, and open and honest communication so that everyone feels confident and knowledgeable. In her free time you can find her out on the river, hiking a trail, or camping under the stars. One day she hopes to flip her own home someplace out in the woods near the water. During the week after work she volunteers her time teaching English to the immigrant community in NE Portland. She is currently working on expanding the program to include GED and Citizenship classes as well as higher level English classes.
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  • T: 505-515-4660

Lydia Groenendyk

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