SARVAM has been conducting the English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) with the support of the US-Embassy and RELO, which provides English language training to 13-21-year-old students from economically disadvantaged sectors through after-school classes and intensive sessions.
The graduation ceremony for the fourth batch of the English Access Microscholarship program took place at Hotel Le Royal Park on February 19, 2023. Around 100 students in the Access classes for the past two years were awarded certificates. Ms Jennifer Bullock, Public Affairs Officer U.S. Consulate General, was the chief guest and did the honour of awarding the students. The other delegates who attended the ceremony were Ms Brindha Balachandran, English Language Outreach Coordinator, U.S. Consulate General, and Dr. Padma Ravindran, Master Trainer.
The graduation ceremony started at 10.30 a.m. with the Tamil Thai Vazhthu and Prayer Song, invoking the blessings of the Tamil Goddess and the Almighty.
Mr John Kennedy, the local trainer, welcomed the gathering. Mrs Chitra Senthilkumar, Director of the SARVAM Project and Access Program Coordinator, felicitated the dignitaries.
Ms. Jennifer Bullock, public affairs officer, was requested to address the gathering. In her presidential address, she congratulated all the students for completing the course and learning the English language successfully and very effectively. She thanked all the Access teachers and the coordinators for their efforts and hard work, which helped the students complete this course efficiently. She elaborated on the different opportunities available for students in the United States of America and the various scholarships available. She asked the students to use the opportunities and become successful in their lives. She ended her speech by thanking the SARVAM Directors for their wonderful efforts.
Following the felicitations, Dr Padma Ravindran, Master Trainer, was requested to address the gathering. She inspired the students to make use of this opportunity and asked them to be successful in their careers and personal life.
Access students performed many cultural events before the dignitaries and the whole gathering. The cultural program featured songs, speeches, skits, and dance, to mention a few. Around five students spoke on different topics related to the Access program in an elaborate and organized manner. The cultural program came to an end with a speech by Mr Earnest Paul, an Access teacher who shared his experiences handling Access classes.
The long-awaited hour of the day came after the presidential address. The four batches of students and their teachers were invited to the stage separately and awarded certificates.
The graduation ceremony ended with the formal Vote of Thanks which Mr Barnabas, Access Teacher, delivered. As a mark of respect, the National Anthems of India and the United States were played at the end of the ceremony.
Ms Jennifer and Mrs Brindha had an informal interaction with the students in which many students interacted with her and asked a few questions on various topics. After the informal interaction, a group photo was taken along with the students.
Receiving an award certificate was an enjoyable and proud experience for the students. All participants enjoyed lunch, and they returned home in good spirits.