Ingrid Casillo, lead ESL teacher at SCC, spoke on behalf of ESL student, Mukta Kordia, at the Adult Education and Literacy Student Recognition Ceremony on June 12.
There were 65 students recognized for receiving their General Educational Development (GED) credential and 28 students recognized for achievement, improvement and attendance in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Five students were recognized for becoming U.S. citizens including Jorge Cruz Gasca from Mexico, Milena Dimitrova from Bulgaria, Ajay Patel from India, Champa Patel from India and Halima Tawfik from Iraq.
Students Zack Scholl and Nibras Matar each were presented with a $100 book scholarship from the SCC Foundation Board at the ceremony. Andrea Sanchez was awarded the SCC Foundation ESL Scholarship worth $2,500.
Nicholas Greco, GED student speaker for the ceremony, said he was going from dead-end job to dead-end job when he started GED classes at SCC. He started the GED program because his job as a security officer required it. Now, he said, the sky is the limit.
“The teachers were always there to help me when I didn’t understand how to do something,” said Greco. He said he is proof the program really works.
During the 2012-2013 school year, more than 170 SCC students received their GED credentials and more than 441 SCC students from 64 different countries took part in the ESL program.
“Every one of our students comes with his or her own unique story and reason,” said Mandy Rose, associate dean of extended learning at SCC. “I have never met, professionally or personally, a group of people with more courage and persistence then the ESL and GED students attending classes in our adult education program.”
Mukta Kordia was selected as the ESL student speaker for the ceremony but was unable to attend the ceremony. Lead ESL teacher Ingrid Casillo spoke on her behalf. Kordia registered for the ESL program in February 2013 with her oldest daughter. She is the mother of four children and a grandmother of six. Kordia was born in Keshod, a village in the country of India, and her native language is Gujarati.
“I really enjoyed coming to school,” said Kordia. “I was not sure about how I would be able to learn English, but I gained self-confidence. If I can learn it, anyone can.” Kordia said she still cannot believe she was able to learn English at not cost. She said she is most happy to be able to actually greet people and start a conversation.
The Adult Education and Literacy program at St. Charles Community College teaches basic reading, math and writing skills to prepare people to take the GED tests and to assist non-native speakers in gaining English proficiency. The program extends to four counties (St. Charles, Warren, Lincoln and Pike), and free day and evening classes are available online.
For more information about the AEL program at SCC, call 636-922-8411 or visit www.stchas.edu/ael.
St. Charles Community College is a public, comprehensive two-year community college with associate degrees and certificate programs in the arts, business, sciences and career-technical fields. SCC provides workforce training and community-based personal and professional development as well as cultural, recreational and entertainment opportunities. For more information, visit www.stchas.edu.
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