1,306 Students Graduate from the Access Program to Improve Skills for the Future

Jerusalem – Over the last month, 1,306 Palestinian students from the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza graduated from the English Access Microscholarship Program, which aims to empower ambitious Palestinian students and prepare them for the future by improving their English and building their skills that will help them succeed in their future studies and professions.

The 18-month U.S. Consulate General’s Access Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by AMIDEAST, serves as a unique community building platform. Palestinian students spend several hundred hours after school and during summer holidays learning English as a foreign language as well as engaging in community service and cultural activities, learning critical thinking, problem solving, debate and public speaking, and other job-related skills. As such, they are setting positive examples within their communities.

On 23 July Public Affairs Officer Chris Hodges attended the graduation ceremony in Ramallah and handed out certificates for the graduating Access students, who will now join the ranks of over 12,000 Palestinian alumni of the Access program.  In his remarks, Hodges congratulated graduates and their families, saying “Access means success …we are excited to see what you will achieve next!” 

In total, three Access graduation ceremonies were held on July 16, July 18 and July 23 for 910 graduates from Jerusalem and several West Bank cities including Bethany, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Jericho, Nablus, Qalqilyia, Ramallah, Salfeet, Tulkarem, and suburbs of Jerusalem.  There was also a July 24 graduation ceremony for 396 students from Gaza.  Many Access students go on to graduate from university, and some obtain scholarships to attend U.S. universities. This year, eight (8) students from Gaza and 18 from the West Bank were selected for the prestigious YES scholarship for a yearlong high school exchange in the United States.

Links to some of the Graduations Photos: