José Mangual, academic counselor for students enrolled in MWCC’s English as a Second Language program, has a ready answer for prospective students who feel they are too busy, too old or not ready to enroll in courses.
He introduces them to students who once had the same concerns, but now are succeeding not only in the ESL program, but in MWCC academic programs as well.
“If someone says, ‘I’m too busy,’ I say, ‘Let me introduce you to Alma Martinez, mother of eight,’ and if they say, ‘I’m too old, I’m in my 40’s and I’ll be the oldest student there,’ I say, ‘Have you met Aurea Carrión?’ She is 78!”
Mangual served as host of the ESL program’s annual year-end celebration. The festive event, recently held at the Leominster campus, featured laughter, encouragement, an array of traditional food, and karaoke.
Six of the students arrived in their MWCC graduation caps and gowns: Yendy Rodríguez, who earned an associate degree in human services; and Carlixta Abreu, Aurea Carrión, Alma Martinez, Myrna Ramos Falcón, and Yeirinette Rodríguez, who each earned academic certificates in human services. In addition, 22 students who earned ESL certificates of completion and nine students who earned certificates of completion in the medical interpretation course were recognized.
Carrión, who previously earned an associate degree from MWCC in 1990, recently returned to the college to pursue her interest in the human services field. “I never get tired of studying,” she said.
Special recognition was also given to ESL instructor William Miganowicz. Alma Martinez was honored for her active involvement as president of the ESL club.
The event also included a video featuring the inspirational story Carlixta Abreu; presentations on ESL leadership by Cristina Peña Bautista and Yendy Rodríguez; a presentation on the Medical Interpretation course by Claudia Rocca; and a presentation on the Phi Theta Kappa honor society by Yeirinette Rodríguez, vice president of PTK for the Leominster campus, and PTK President Elizabeth Reiser.