U.S. Consulate General, Erbil, and AMIDEAST Celebrate
On June 20, 2013, the U.S. Consulate General in Erbil, with implementing partner AMIDEAST, celebrated the graduation of 38 Access Program scholarship recipients. Consul General Paul Sutphin and Mr. Christopher Ludlow, Country Director of AMIDEAST, participated in a closing ceremony and congratulated the graduates on their achievements.
The English Access Microscholarship Program provides two-year English language scholarships to tal- ented underprivileged Iraqi high school students. Program participants come from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds. The program increases students’ potential to compete for international education opportunities, provides a platform for cultural exchange and leadership skills, and promotes a spirit of community involvement.
Speaking to students, teachers, families, and government officials at the graduation ceremony in Erbil, Consul General Sutphin encouraged the graduating students, saying “As you go on to college and beyond, excellent English language skills will help you compete for scholarship and job opportunities to help your communities and your country. I hope the Access program is the beginning of a lifelong relationship with both the English language and with the United States.”
Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the Access Program in Iraq began in 2008 with 152 students in four provinces. It currently serves approximately 1,500 students throughout the country. By developing the skills of Iraqi youth throughout the country, the English Access Microscholarship Program advances the ongoing U.S. commitment to the future of Iraq as outlined in the Strategic Framework Agreement between the United States and Iraq.