By ED RUMLEY
PATERSON, NJ – In celebration of the United Nations English Language Day, Paterson’s UCEDA Institute granted three scholarships to city residents to assist them in mastering English as a second language. As a result, organizers said, recipients will be better empowered to gain employment and a clear pathway to citizenship.
The annual global observance of the United Nations English Language Day, first celebrated in 2010, is specifically set aside to promote awareness, history, culture, and achievements associated with the major communication mode of the United States.
During the ceremony Mayor Andre Sayegh and Carlos Uceda, President and CEO of UCEDA Institute, presented three recent immigrants, all Spanish speaking, Jose Liriano, Maria Dominguez, and Gabriel Matos, full payment for an intensive sixteen-week English language course. The grants will include registration fees, tuition expense, and curricula.
“Today, we celebrate the language of our country,” Sayegh stated. “Paterson is a city that welcomes immigrants. We realize that moving to a new country and learning a new culture is not easy. We want to help those that may be struggling with learning English, applying for jobs, and more.”
The UCEDA Institute has tutored thousands of immigrants from every possible background and culture for over 30 years. Located at 111 Ellison Street, the organization also has numerous other locations in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Virginia.
“We have always desired that people not only learn English but also be better prepared for life’s challenges,” Uceda stated. “English as a Second Language equips participants to navigate the challenges of daily life.”
UCEDA offers accredited programs for all levels of language learning and also provides F1 international students with the highest quality education while maximizing affordability. With an F1 student visa, those from overseas can apply to live and study in the United States.
The trio of scholarship recipients may choose from one of three courses of study: English as a second language; Citizenship Test Preparation; or GED Preparation for Spanish Speakers.
“Paterson is a city of immigrants,” 5th Ward Councilman Luis Velez said, offering his praise for the initiative. “We want to do everything possible to help our brothers and sisters.”
“We want to enable immigrants to be able to push past any impediments and accomplish their goals,” Sayegh concluded.