“Be The Hero In Your Own Life”
CU Denver ESL Academy Students Celebrate Summer Graduation
Amid cheers, applause, and a few tears of joy, twenty-eight international students celebrated their graduation from Level 5 at the ESL Academy, University of Colorado Denver on July 21st. They had arrived in Denver from countries around the world – China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Panama, Chile, Libya, and Vietnam – and had quickly become classmates, “study buddies”, friends, and a welcome addition to the ESL Academy family.
“Before coming to the ESL Academy, I kept thinking of how I was going to face the difficulties and to be on my own,” explained Fatima, a featured speaker at the graduation event. “Now that I have studied here, I believe that I can do anything by myself.” She added that accomplishing the challenge of learning to research, write, and present a 10-page paper in English before an audience was vitally important to her education and career growth. “ESL Level 5 is essential for any student who wishes to attend university.”
“Now that I have studied here, I believe that I can do anything by myself.”
Sixteen of the graduates are continuing on into degree programs at CU Denver; it’s the largest group since the Academy opened its doors in 2012. The University of Colorado Denver has 13 schools and colleges and offers more than 140 degree programs, giving students plenty of educational and career preparation options. The students at this summer’s graduation were choosing to pursue degrees in pre-nursing, public health, chemistry/biochemistry, business administration, finance/accounting, and BS/DDS.
One of the graduates from Chile, Ledy, showed her commitment to studying special education courses. She was celebrating not only her graduation from the ESL Academy, but also the news that she had been awarded a university pilot scholarship of $10,000 to support her enrollment at CU Denver’s School of Education and Human Development.
Student speaker Hussain gave a special thanks to the ESL teachers. “When I was expecting to attend the ESL Academy, I was not happy at first. I wanted to go to Italy to study and play soccer.” That all changed when he entered classes at the ESL Academy. “There are amazing people and I obtained much new knowledge.
“The ESL Academy is the “home away from home” for many of our students and it is especially rewarding to watch their growth and development in such a short period of time,” said ESL Academy Director Marcel Bolintiam. “They have matured into responsible, active members of the CU Denver community, and we are proud of what they have accomplished. We are confident that they have the skills and resources necessary to be successful in their degree programs.”
Kawthor, a student from Saudi Arabia, concluded with advice to the other international students: take action.
“Congratulations to all of you Level 5 graduates – you made a decision to change your life! Keep going, keep working. In every situation, you have a choice to be either a passive victim of circumstances or an active hero in your own life. ”
Judging by the smiles, every ESL Academy student has chosen the latter.