Lia Andrews is the founding director of Language University and this week’s #PeopleofWilmDE! She was nominated on Instagram by ItsMeJess151. Read her story below!
“At age 11, I moved from one side of Delaware County to another (Glenolden to Garnet Valley, PA). I went from having sidewalks and feeling independent to having no sidewalks and needing rides from adults at all times. I always wanted to live in a different state and so I was very happy to have my first job at 16 at Nino’s Pizza (now Cuzino’s) in Wilmington, and I always loved telling my friends from the Main Line area that my Blockbuster was in DE! How exotic!
Sitting in the back seat of the car one day, I made a vow to myself that when I had my own home, I would live somewhere that didn’t make me feel isolated, that had sidewalks and things to do around me. I truly have found that in Wilmington. Every run around the block is special; every walk into town is meaningful and having my backyard be Rockford Park has been such a blessing. What a home! I could not be more proud to be a Wimingtonian and a Delawarean!
In 2019, my fiancé, Kyle, and I purchased a condo right next to the park. We were inspired to move to this area because when I first met him in 2012, he was living two blocks away from where we are now and I always loved staying in Wilmington and walking everywhere. I have never been happier living here! Wilmington is the perfect mix of parks, neighborhoods, towns and city. You can be in any part of Wilmington in minutes. Walking is a way of life, and it is easy to get to know people. It feels far more personal living in DE than it does living in PA.
Any opportunity to walk into town for dinner or to enjoy a food festival is always my favorite! I did the Wilmington half marathon a couple of years back and it’s a fantastic way to see the city and scope out future restaurants to visit! I was also very proud to see Joe Biden win this past election from our great city. It was so inspirational and moving to share that experience with my family, (who came to visit!) and my community. It is an experience I will never forget.
My program, Language University, is a “Foreign Language through FUN!” program for children. And because Wilmington is so easy to get around, I can quickly be at local schools or hold events in parks and community centers. I love how diverse Wilmington is and I am happy to have the opportunity to meet so many new families and people! Because everything is so close, I can be far more successful with my time and with finding people who need my help and who can also help me. There are so many schools and families that haven’t had the opportunity of having their little ones learn a second language through adventures, music and crafts, so it’s exciting that I get to teach and introduce languages to my neighbors.
As we get back out into the community, I’m concerned that schools and families are going to continue to be closed off towards outside programming, instead of welcoming new friends while being safe. I hope that I can once again enjoy the Greek and Italian festivals without fear! I am also hoping that this past year has given us all the opportunity to be more empathetic, open-minded Wilmingtonians and that we can grow together as a community today and in the future.
My main advice for those living and working in Wilmington is this: stay strong, be kind and seek out the ice cream festival!”