On a Thursday evening before Memorial Day weekend, about 120 current and former students, their family members, their friends, and staff members of CAMBA’s Adult Literacy Center gathered at the Dutch Reformed Protestant Church to recognize student achievements. Among the students honored for their hard work were 12 graduates who received CAMBA trophies for earning their New York State High School Diploma. The trophies were handed out by Valerie Barton-Richardson, CAMBA’s Executive Vice President for Economic Development, Education and Youth Development, Family Support, and Homelessness Prevention and Shelters. Teachers from the Center also handed out awards recognizing particularly outstanding student performances.
Jude Pierre, Program Manager of the Center and the evening’s master of ceremonies, greeted the students and their families warmly and told them, “Whether it’s inside the classroom or outside of the classroom, we are always so proud of the things you do and we are here tonight to celebrate that.”
In a poignant section of the event, three students gave remarks on their experiences as adult learners. Kousar S., a Pakistani woman, told the story of how she came to the Center for English classes (ESOL) and ended up staying on and is now working towards earning her High School diploma:
“Standing in front of you, I feel strength and gratitude. Thank you to my teachers and everyone involved in this wonderful program. It never came to my mind to try to receive a high school diploma. Now, I have successfully passed my citizenship class. Finding out that I am going to be a U.S. citizen was one of the happiest days of my life.
I’ll never forget what CAMBA has done for me.”
After the awards ceremony, everyone shared together a delicious dinner, catered by Bassett Caterers (a Brooklyn-based restaurant) before going on their way. All of us at CAMBA are grateful for the opportunity to serve these incredibly determined, inspiring adult learners, and we wish them all many more successes!
CAMBA connects New Yorkers to opportunities through its dedicated staff, who are trained to provide solutions to the biggest challenges of life in New York. Visit CAMBA’s 40th Anniversary website and join us in our 2020 Vision Campaign to provide services to young people throughout the city.