Remarks by U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua, Laura F. Dogu
May 31, 2017
Thank you so much for inviting me to be here today at UNICIT! Thank you to the students, fathers and mothers, and their English instructors. We also thank the host insitution, UNICIT, represented by its Vice Rector, engineer Hector Lacayo, and also the Father Fabretto Foundation, represented by Mr. César Dubois, for being the implementers of this scholarship program.
I have been to several Access ceremonies and each one of them has been special.
There is something in common among the students: they have strong minds and spirits and sincere desires to achieve success each day. And in this, the parents of Access scholarship recipients are special because they have promised to support their children so that they learn another language during these next two years.
It seems easy at first, but the path is difficult and full of responsibilities. But I am convinced that in the end, they will say it was worth it. Maybe you will ask, Why does the U.S. Embassy sponsor the English Access Microscholarship Program? It is because we believe that Engish brings many benefits to Nicaraguans. English helps you to obtain a better job and also to aim for university studies, whether that be in Nicaragua, in the United States, or any other country. Additionally, there is a lot of educational information on the Internet that only comes in English and it is useful to have access to this information.
There is a lot of competition to be accepted into the Access program. There were many more applicants than spaces and you were selected because we believe you have the ability and motivation to intensively study English for two years. And also because you have the support of your parents.
I studied Spanish as a foreign language and I know that studying a language requires a lot of discipline and actually a lifelong agreement. I continue learning new words everyday and this is how it will be for you all with English. The key is practice. You are going to learn a lot in the classroom with your teacher, but it is your duty to practice the language outside of the classroom. You have to find opportunities to practice it with your classmates, seeing movies in English, and reading articles on the internet in English.
You have to LIVE the language to master it. I know that you all are totally capable of doing this. I am very proud of this achievement that you all have achieved by being accepted in the Access program. It is my hope that all of you graduate from this program in 2019.
Congratulations on this new beginning!
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