Thursday, June 07, 2007

One of Ours -- Outstanding Student Award! Bravo!

From Hilton Worrell, Personal Advocate in our new program for out-of-school youth:

We are on our way! Last night Jennifer and I had the pleasure of attending CSI’s Commencement Ceremony and I must say it was a nice experience. Not only were people honored for achieving their goals no matter what they were, it was also a ceremony to acknowledge the efforts put forth by those who have not quite made it yet. I personally did not feel any distinction between a college grad, GED recipient or newly enrolled ESOL/GED student.

To top the wonderful evening off, one of our ACE students, Nwachi Hartley, was honored for most improved student. The professor of his class gave the best speech of the night outlining his work and commitment to Nwachi and all of our students while highlighting their accomplishments.

This was captured in our first “NEWSPAPER ARTICLE ABOUT A STUDENT IN OUR PROGRAM “ We are very excited and expect more of the same in the future just a bit more frequently. The best thing about the evening was that our students left there with a renewed sense of purpose which we hope becomes contagious. Jennifer and I already feel it. Go ACE!!!!

Adults lauded for pursuing GED's

Wednesday, June 06, 2007



STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- As graduation caps are being tossed into the air at high school commencement ceremonies across the nation, the Adult Learning Center at the College of Staten Island in Willowbrook took time to honor its 650 adult students who never received their diplomas as teens, for a variety of reasons.

“Raise your hand if you're a parent," said Staci Weile, the program's director, and countless hands shot into the air in the dimly lit Williamson Theater. "Now, raise your hand if you're a single parent ... if your child is in school ... if you have a full-time job ... if you came from another country ... if you left school to work." As hands were raised and lowered, the message became clear: These students had extra hurdles to clear on their educational path.

For Park Hill resident Nwachi Hartley, who received an outstanding student award, taking a class with Professor Huntley James helped him achieve more than just his GED.

When he first came to my class, his hand-held Playstation received more attention than I did," said James, as a beaming Hartley clutched his certificate next to the podium, "The road from there to here has been long and hard."

“It was a really hard process for me," said Hartley, soaking in the praise from his family, who turned out for the event.

Arcadia Ramirez's decision to return to school brings her dream of earning a teaching degree a step closer. Ms. Ramirez, a maintenance worker at Notre Dame Academy, Grymes Hill, where her daughter is a student, also received an award in recognition of her outstanding achievement.

The Adult Learning Center aims to give students, 17 and older, a chance to go back to school and earn a GED or learn English as a second language. Currently the program has nine basic education classes for students reading at a first-grade level, five GED classes, 10 ESL classes and two classes for those wishing to improve their existing language skills.

Before departing the podium, Ms. Weile offered a final message to the packed auditorium in the form of a quote by educator John Dewey: "Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself."

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