About 80 students graduated from various CLC programs on Thursday, June 18th. 14 graduates were awarded schoarships to attend college from the Friends of the Community Learning Center. You can read more about the Graduation Ceremony from the coverage in Cambridge Chronicle.
Here is an excerpt from the graduation speech delivered by Fritzna Emmanuel, an ESOL Level 5 graduate:
Dear graduates, today is our day! It’s the day when we should all be proud of ourselves. Many of us left countries to come to the U.S. for a special reason. Some of us came for a better life, a better education, or to join our relatives. The first and most difficult barrier for us was English communication. Sometimes we wanted to express our wants and feelings, to fend for ourselves, but we could not. However, we all had a mother who was waiting for us to teach us how to say our first words and take our first steps. That mother is the Community Learning Center, a mother who is never tired.
Dear CLC staff, I am so proud to talk on your behalf today. You make me consider myself as a newborn today, a newborn who feels strong enough to take the next step. I remember when I first came to the U.S., I didn’t know which way to go to get an education. Once I found CLC, I felt that I had real support. I started taking ESOL classes at CLC in January 2013, and with my teachers’ help, I moved up extremely fast. Two and half years later, I am graduating from Level 5 ESOL.
Dear teachers, I want to thank you from my heart. I’ve been looking for a new word to describe how competent, reliable, compassionate, and patient you are, but I can’t really find that word. I want to use all my senses, my heart, and my voice to thank you for where you’ve gotten me. You put me in a direction which is so real, a direction that can bring me to a brighter future.
Dear graduates, you should not have in your minds today that this is your last day of education. Instead, consider it as your first step into the future. Think about what your next step is going to be. CLC has put us on the right track. We are graduating from Level 5, but that doesn’t mean we are leaving CLC. The CLC staff is going to still be willing to help us. They want us to succeed, and we will!