WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/635829

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Page 173 of 211

dents have a Wellesley connection. About 90 percent of students live in town, the other 10 percent work here. When Biggers first became involved, a mix of Koreans and Russians dominated. Nowadays the student body is predominantly Chinese, attracted to the area by its reputation for good education. Many are professionals or successful business people, a population which has been targeted by brokers for the immigrant investor program for expedited visas. "Ten years from now," says Biggers, "who knows?" About 200 participants are currently serviced by about 70 teacher/ tutors. They can be spotted in action all over town. In addition to meeting rooms, materials and copying services provided at the main library, instructors use the Hills branch library, the community room at Whole Foods and the common rooms in several of the public hous- ing developments in town. "It's pretty exciting that this has become so collaborative," Biggers says, and points out that the various locations make it possible for nondrivers to attend. Biggers has three children, all involved in giving back to the world: one, a graduate student in public service, who works on solar panels in India; another was, as of this interview, in Rwanda volunteering at a dental school; and the third has a job in the sustainability office of Washington University, where she is a junior. Good works actually runs through Biggers' family veins as her tra- jectory parallels her mother's. Her mother also reached out when her children left the nest, and initiated a patient advocate system at Boston's Brigham and Woman's hospital before anyone had ever heard of such a thing. She also began the hospitality program that is used by all the major hospitals in Boston to this day. It provides temporary local housing in a network of private homes for the visiting families of out-of-town patients. Like her mother before her, Biggers' strong suit is organization. Although she sees herself as an entrepreneur, she describes her pro- gram with the heart of a social worker. "Students sign up to learn English, but most end up with much moreā€¦an understanding of our culture, a mentoring relationship, and friendships." 172 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 6 education "giving back to the world"

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