EARLIER THIS SUMMER, the MGH and Jewish Vocational Services of Boston (JVS) celebrated 86 MGH employees as they completed a year of the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)program. The MGH/JVS program, which began in 1994, is the longest continuous ESOL program in the state.
Stevenson Morency, RN, a nurse on White 7, was this year’s keynote speaker. Morency talked about his move to the United States from Haiti in 2002, and his decision to seek an education and a career in health care. “I was young and had not made any major decisions yet,” he said. “I had no friends and didn’t know the language. I was moving to a place where I didn’t know anyone.”
Enrolling at the University of Massachusetts Amherst was the best decision he ever made, he said. After trying out a few different majors – including computer science, chemistry and biology – he said his desire to make a difference led him to nursing. Nursing school led him to the MGH, where he became the first Hausman Fellow.
“The experience I got here broadened my horizons. I had great mentors … and I am forever grateful to them for making themselves available to me when I needed their support.”
He congratulated the graduates of the ESOL program for all they had accomplished. “I want to remind you that you are all very special and fortunate to be graduating from this program,” he said. “Keep your dreams alive, and don’t be afraid of the space between dreams and reality.”
During the celebration, students graduating from higher level ESOL programs, including Isabel Ramos, a unit service associate, read from essays they wrote for the program.
“This English class helps me a lot in my job communicating with patients, my supervisor and the other staff in the hospital,” she said.