Over the last month, 1,261 Palestinian students from the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza graduated from the U.S. Consulate General’s English Access Microscholarship Program – an 18-month program that empowers ambitious Palestinian students to improve their English and build skills for the future.
The Access program, funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by AMIDEAST, is not simply a language program; Palestinian students engage in community service and cultural activities, they learn public speaking; build other job-related skills, and more. These Palestinian students spent several hundred hours after school and during summer holidays in these pursuits.
Two graduation ceremonies were held at Almashtal Hotel in Gaza on April 14 and April 26. And three were held at the Red Crescent Society premises in Al-Bireh for graduates from the West Bank and Jerusalem on April 29, May 6 and May 13. American Consul General Donald Blome attended the graduation ceremony on May 13 and handed out certificates for the graduating Access students, who will now join the ranks of the almost 10,000 Palestinian alumni of the Access program.
In his remarks, American Consul General Donald Blome addressed graduates, saying, “I can’t help but think of the name of the program, “Access.” Al ism 3la am-musama. What you have learned here will help you access your goals and dreams for the future. This is only the beginning for you; you will continue to grow and develop as leaders of change.”