Chargé d’Affaires Elias Parra Remarks at Access Microscholarship Program Graduation

Good morning everyone.

It is a pleasure to be here this morning to celebrate with you.  I am honored to be here to congratulate you on successfully completing this program.  I commend you for your hard work over the last 2 years.  As a diplomat who has worked in many places with many different languages, I know it is hard to learn a language. The Access program is intense, but each of you committed to completing it, despite the difficulty.  And now we are here to celebrate that impressive accomplishment.

In choosing to improve your English language skills, you wisely chose to build skills that will connect you to people across the world.  English skills will help you access scholarship and job opportunities and bring you closer to a connected, global future.  English skills open opportunities for travel, employment, study, and relationships in places you might not expect.

I would like to encourage you all to continue to develop your English skills and learn more about our U.S. Embassy scholarships and exchange programs.  Many alumni from our exchange programs and scholarships started their journey where you are today.  They began studying English with Access and later applied for a U.S. scholarship or exchange. They then went on to study in the U.S. at one of the best universities in the world and returned to Timor-Leste to contribute their knowledge to developing their country.

This is why the United States supports English programs like this. English is the foundation of the United States’ growing relationship with Timor-Leste. We hope that through English language skills many of you will be able to develop your careers and connect with Americans to find new solutions to the challenges we all face.

Obrigada barak!