The mission of Mercy Learning Center (MLC) is to provide basic literacy and life skills training to low-income women using a holistic approach within a compassionate, supportive environment. All women are welcome without regard for race, religion, color, creed, sexual orientation or national origin.

The need for women’s literacy education is striking:

  • 781 million people in the world are illiterate. 64% of them are women.
  • 36 million Americans can’t read. Many who can, read below the 6th grade level.
  • 1 out of every 5 women in Bridgeport does not have a high school diploma.
  • Half of all Bridgeport families speak a language other than English at home.

We offer a range of flexible programs to meet the needs of our diverse students. Part-time and full-time academic programs are offered at the Center along with a range of support services.

All programs and services are offered in our beautifully renovated building at 637 Park Avenue.  MLC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and all programs and services are offered at no cost to participants.

Learn More About Our Programs

Mercy Learning Center’s Approach is Holistic, Compassionate and Transformational.

Through our education and support services, lives are changed forever—women’s lives, their families’ lives and the lives of our volunteers and supporters.

At Mercy Learning Center, women study:

  • English – reading, writing and speaking
  • Math
  • Science/health
  • Social studies/civics
  • Computers
  • Employment and life skills

While being supported by:

  • MLC’s Early Childhood Education Program
  • Social services (including case management, mental health counseling, health screenings, financial counseling and more)
  • Job and college counseling
  • Enrichment opportunities

Ultimately, women are able to:

  • Earn a high school equivalency diploma
  • Learn job skills and get help finding a job
  • Receive assistance applying for college, job training programs and scholarships
  • Prepare for the U.S. citizenship exam

Who Are MLC Students?

The women at Mercy Learning Center are from the United States, as well as over 50 different countries of origin. They are diverse in age and educational ability, but all of the women at MLC are undereducated and are motivated to get the basic education they need and deserve.

No matter the struggles they may face, all of the women at MLC have made the courageous decision to empower themselves by obtaining an education and a better quality of life.

In 2016-17, MLC educated 953 women:

  • The students were aged 17 to 77.
  • 97% of students reported an annual household income below $40,000.
  • The majority of women were the mothers or primary caregivers of children under the age of 18.
  • The women represented 47 different countries of origin and were 72% Hispanic/Latina, 18% Black/African American, 3% Asian and 7% White.
  • All of the women functioned below the intermediate level (roughly 4th grade) in reading upon enrollment.

“This place has been a ray of hope and encouragement.”

– Yolanda, Student