ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Ray Castillo attended the graduation ceremony for 100 English Works! students at the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) in Islamabad on May 18.
The US English Works! Program provides a foundation of English language and vocational skills to deserving youth aged 17-25.
The six-month, 240-hour program boosts English proficiency, develops computer literacy skills, and builds job market knowledge for motivated students who have limited financial resources. Since its beginning in 2015, over 3,700 youth have graduated with marketable skills that lead to greater employability.
The classes for this cohort were conducted fully online because of the pandemic, and the students succeeded in adding 21st Century skills, leadership skills, and entrepreneurship skills to their proficiency set.
Their teachers also successfully passed the Google Certified Educator Level 1 exam and learned the Canvas learning management system to better cater to the needs of these students.
“Our successful collaboration results in a better skilled workforce in this community,” stated the US Embassy Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Ray Castillo in thanking National University of Modern Languages Director General Brigadier Syed Nadir Ali and the NUML teachers and management team for their support of this US initiative.
“This year, the United States and Pakistan are celebrating 75 years of friendship. We are collaborating closely on many significant projects, and you are the continuation of this relationship,” added Minister Counselor Castillo.
The graduates of this program become part of the Pakistan-US Alumni Network (PUAN), the largest alumni network in the world. Through PUAN, these graduates can network, apply for small grants, and cascade their knowledge through community service outreach.
Currently, there are 1,300 youth in Pakistan attending English Works! classes, and additional student groups will be added in the fall.