Bahawalpur (Web desk) – One hundred students celebrated their graduation from the English Access Micro-scholarship Program in Bahawalpur, a two-year intensive language program supported by the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore, in collaboration with Dove Foundation.

The program benefited students at St. Mary’s High School and included students of different faiths.

To promote inter-faith harmony, the students learned about each other’s religions by celebrating Eid, Christmas and Diwali together.

After completing the course, students were able to interact with others in English confidently. They now hope to continue their studies.

Parents of the graduating class expressed pride in their sons’ and daughters’ achievements.

The English Access Micro-scholarship Program (Access) provides a foundation of English language skills to non-elite, 13-20 year old students through after-school classes and intensive learning activities.

Access students gain an appreciation for American democratic values, increase their ability to participate successfully in the socio-economic development of their country, and are provided further opportunities to participate in future U.S. exchange and study programs.

Access includes activities related to U.S. and Pakistani culture, the development of information technology skills, as well as leadership and community service.

A selected number of Access students have also had the opportunity to participate in short exchange programs in the United States.

The U.S. Embassy currently supports 2930 Access students in 25 locations across Pakistan. Over 11,000 students have graduated from Access programs across Pakistan since 2004.

The U.S. Department of State currently supports Access Programs in 85 countries around the world.

Director of English Language Center and Head of the Department of English at Bahauddin Zakariya University in Multan, Dr. Naveed Ahmad Chaudhry, who is also the President Pak-U.S. Alumni Network Multan Chapter, was chief guest at the ceremony. He thanked the students and their parents for their dedication and hard work, praising the commitment of Dove Foundation and the support of the schools’ management. He encouraged the students to continue learning English and pursue their dreams.