St. Mary’s University graduated FY 2018 English Access Microscholarship Program Students on February 11, 2023, at SMU, Undergraduate Campus Multi-purpose Hall, in the presence of the US Embassy officials, families and the University administrators and teachers.
Welcoming speech was presented by Wondwosen Tamrat (Associate Professor, PhD), President, SMU. He underscored that the English Access Micro- Scholar ship project, that exclusively targeted public schools is run and implimented by St. Mary’s University here in Addis Ababa. The project was launched in 2011, in collaboration with the US Embassy. To date St. Mary’s University has graduated four cohorts, including this round comprising of seventy-five students.
He further remarked that English Access Microscholarship Program is aimed at contributing to the success of talented but economically disadvantaged students selected from secondary schools of Addis Ababa. It provides a foundation of English language and life skills through one and a half year after-school classes and intensive sessions.
Ruth Anne Stevens-Klitz, U.S. Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs, on her opening remarks said, ”One thing to take away from the program is how important education is to open opportunities. The English Access program provides participants English skills that may lead to better jobs and educational prospects. Participants also gain the ability to compete and participate in future exchanges and study in the United States,”she reiterated.
She also commented on the diverse activities the students carried out in the Program have been instrumental in helping the graduates build and enhance their competence, and learn new things about life, in general, and social skills, in particular. A US Center is intended to be instituted at Saint Mary’s University, where educational, innovational and cultural exchanges take place between the two nations, she added. Moreover, she remarked that Access Alumni, which was established earlier, has now hit 1,300 members.
During the graduation ceremony, a short speech, drama, and different activities were presented by the Access graduates. Parents also showed their positive reflections on the English Access Microscholarship Program.
Finally, Ruth Anne Stevens-Klitz, made a closing remark commending St. Mary’s University, Access teachers and graduate families for their support throughout the Program. The Program came to an end with handing over of certificates and awards to all graduates, and a special award to those who showed remarkable performance during their stay in the Program.