When Melinda McEwen found out her job as an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor was being phased out by William Woods University due to a decline in international student enrollment, she turned the bad news into a business opportunity.
McEwen had worked for the university for two years, during which time she opened up the ESL writing lab for international undergraduate students as well as master level students. Despite the smaller number of incoming students, McEwen still saw a need for her services.
"Many of the students had come to me privately, stating that not only do they need to continue having this support, but there are other international students at Westminster (College) as well as international immigrants living in the Fulton area who could benefit from private ESL or private English support," she said.
McEwen then opened her own private tutoring business, where she continues to provide one-on-one work on spoken and written language skills for area international students, in person as well as over the internet.
Since moving to Fulton from Montgomery County, she has worked with 29 students from China, Taiwan, Brazil and other countries across the world. McEwen currently has three Mandarin Chinese students, one from William Woods and two from the University of Missouri-Columbia.