American Consulate General Celebrates English Access Microscholarship Graduation in WestBank

From March 20 to April 3, 920 Palestinian students from the West Bank and Jerusalem graduated from the English Access Microscholarship Program — an 18-month program that requires students to spend several hundred hours after school and during summer holidays learning and improving their English.

The Access program, funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by AMIDEAST, is not simply a language program; Palestinian students also engage in community service and cultural activities, they learn public speaking; build other job-related skills, and more.

Three graduate ceremonies were held at the Red Crescent Society premises in Al-Bireh for graduates from the West Bank and Jerusalem on March 20, 27 and April 3. American Consul General Michael Ratney attended the graduation ceremony on Friday April 3 and handed out certificates for the graduating Access students, who will now join the ranks of the almost 9,800 Palestinian alumni of the Access program.

In his remarks, American Consul General Michael Ratney addressed graduates, and commended them on their commitment to the Access program. He said, “The skills you have developed not only make you more able to get involved in a global workforce and to help build up the Palestinian economy and infrastructure, but they also make you perfect Ambassadors of the Palestinian people to Americans and English-speakers everywhere”.

The graduating Access class is the ninth class of students to participate in the program since its inception in 2004. Representatives from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and UNRWA, Access teachers, families and friends, and AMIDEAST staff also attended the festive graduation ceremonies.

The Access program seeks to develop the English language skills and capabilities of promising and deserving Palestinian high school students, and provides them an opportunity to participate in a substantive, sustained program of private English language training program. Access scholarships are funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, via the American Consulate General in Jerusalem and in partnership with AMIDEAST.

For more information please contact the Consulate General Press Office at 02-622-6909 or Information Assistant Hassna Dajani at 054-6620257.