Celebrating 20 Years of Adult Basic Education at BHCC
Thursday, June 11, 2015
On Wednesday, May 27, 2015, graduates of the Bunker Hill Community College Adult Basic Education (ABE) program marked the completion of their studies at a celebration on the Charlestown Campus. President Pam Eddinger, BHCC Board of Trustees member Hung Goon, and ABE program director Toni Borge congratulated the graduates on their achievement. President Eddinger noted that 2015 is the 20th anniversary of the ABE initiative, which offers classes for adults to develop English language proficiency along with training in the skills needed for a successful transition to college. The program is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Wendy Hernandez, a native of El Salvador who had been in the United States for eight years, addressed the gathering. A successful graduate of the ABE program, Hernandez told the audience of her plans to enroll in the ABE Health Career Pathways program this fall and subsequently the ABE Transitions to College program. Her goal is to earn a certificate as a Patient Care Assistant.
The evening’s keynote speaker, Alberto Calvo, inspired and entertained the audience with his remarkable story of immigrant success. Arriving in the United States from Cuba as a teen, he learned English, graduated from Brighton High School, attended Northeastern University and went on to graduate studies at MIT. He enjoyed a successful career as an engineer—and then a second successful career as a businessman, the operator of Stop and Compare supermarket in Chelsea. His company has expanded into two additional communities and is now a multi-million dollar enterprise with more than 120 full-time and part-time employees.
Applauded by their friends and family, the graduates went to the stage to receive their diplomas from President Eddinger. The event was celebrated with a reception in the College’s Main Lobby.
View more photos from the ABE graduation on the Ceremony Highlights page.