Friday, June 8, 2012

MGH celebrates ESOL graduates

SWEET SUCCESS: Silva is congratulated after receiving his English for Academic Success certificate.

Liana Teixeira stood before the crowd gathered beneath the Bulfinch Tent, took a deep breath, and broke into a wide smile while reading her essay about what it is like to work at the MGH. “I really like to work at MGH, because it is a great organization. For example, it provides excellent job opportunities, as well as training programs, which help new employees work as a team. I am taking an English class, which is very helpful. My writing has improved, and I feel more confident when I speak to my coworkers and patients,” she said.

Teixeira spoke during the 17th annual MGH English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Celebration of Achievement event on June 1, which honored 82 graduates this year. Teixeira, who started at the MGH in 2007 as a unit service associate (USA) and now works as a resource USA team leader training new employees, just completed the high intermediate class. She shared that English is actually her fourth language, in addition to Portuguese, Creole and Spanish. “Thank you all for making this a great hospital,” she said, emphasizing her appreciation for her supervisor and manager, who supported her participation in the program. “I’m proud to work here at MGH.”

Applause and cheers filled the air as the graduates honored one another and thanked the many people who contribute to the success of the program, a collaboration between the MGH Office of Training and Workforce Development and JVS, a nonprofit vocational service. Fellow students Ana Bonilla, of Food and Nutrition Services; Evandro Silva, of the Center for Comparative Medicine; and Benjamin Graciani, of Central Supply, read personal essays. Keynote speaker Felicita Aponte, patient liaison in the Department of Speech, Language, Swallowing and Reading Disabilities, shared her story of being the first college graduate in her family after moving to the United States from Puerto Rico. 

“This is one of my favorite events of the whole year at the MGH,” said Jeff Davis, senior vice president for Human Resources. “When you walk in here, you can feel the whole tent bursting with pride.”

For more information on future ESOL sessions – as well as basic computer, pre-college math and pre-college English classes – contact Beth Butterfoss, manager of Workplace Education, at 617-726-2388 or 

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