Posted on Jul 5, 2016 in General
CONGRATULATIONS to ESL and GED graduates and the new United States Citizens that comprised The Literacy Center’s Class of 2016!
Graduation night was a celebration of achievement. Families and graduating students gathered for The Center’s 39th Annual Graduation Ceremony held in the Masonic Temple of Allentown, a 1926 historic landmark adjacent to beautiful West Park. Click here to view the Graduation Program.
Whether earning a Pennsylvania high school equivalency diploma, proficiency with the English language certificate, or passing the Naturalization exam, it takes dedication and hard work to achieve academic successes in adulthood. These graduating adults deserve praise and admiration for a job well-done! In her opening remarks TLC’s executive director, MaryAnn Przekurat applauded the efforts of each student who, by taking advantage the Center’s educational opportunities ultimately improve the quality of their lives and their families.
With forty-two years of distinguished and decorated service with the United States Air Force Major Nathan Kline lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Christ Lutheran Outreach Pastor Maritza Torres Dolich, offered an inspirational invocation.
An evening highlight was the presentation of the Linda V. McCrossan Award. McCrossan served the Center’s founding from 1977 until 2005. The award is given annually to a person who embodies the motivation, courage and tenacity to improve their life through literacy. David Zinni, former GED student, now the Program Coordinator at The Allentown Rescue Mission, was the 2016 McCrossan award winner. His life began with homelessness, trials and tribulations. His faith and hard work helped him advance this education earning his GED and an Associate’s Degree at LCCC. In his work he is determined to help those who have walked a similar path.
Class speaker Ingrid Contreras offered an equally inspiring story. As a native of Nicaragua Ingrid came to the United States at the age of two. Raised by her grandmother in Brooklyn, NY she dropped out of high school to raise her own family. In 1997 Ingrid and her husband left NY for Allentown to provide her children with a better education and safer life. Ingrid, a woman of honor, capitalized on her perseverance and compassion earning her high school equivalency in five months. At age forty-two her advice to younger students is “Nothing is impossible, never give up”. The Center shares her family’s pride in this most recent accomplishment.
Hard-working and determined students are on the path to success. As Mary Ann stated: “While the success of the Literacy Center can be measured by its outcomes and fundraising, the true measurement is the smile on the faces of the graduates and the pride and joy of parents, children, spouses, other family members and friends this evening”.