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News >Access 16 Opening Ceremony

Feb 01,2023

On Sunday, January 22, 2023, Teach for Lebanon (TFL) held the opening ceremony for the 2022–2024 iteration of the English Access Microscholarship Program in Lebanon at the Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand hotel. 

Attendees included representatives from the U.S. Embassy Beirut and Teach For Lebanon (TFL), the virtual attendance of the Regional English Language Officer (RELO), the Access students, teachers and teacher assistants, and Access alumni. All in all, over 500 people attended the event!

After playing the national anthems of Lebanon and the United States of America, TFL interim CEO and Access Program Director, Mr. George El Assad, delivered a welcome note addressing the new cohort before giving the floor to Ms. Melissa O’Shaughnessy, Public Affairs Officer, who gave the event’s keynote speech.

In the event, each table held the name of one of the 50 U.S. states, and students from each school were seated at tables with students from other schools and TFL staff. The Embassy officials had Access students at their table too. This allowed the students to meet new people, create new friendships, and share their experiences and ambitions. In addition, the attendees participated in an activity where they learned facts about each of the states’ history, nature, monuments, etc… and shared this information with each other. 

Following that, the Access Program Coordinator at TFL, Ms. Manar Hammoud,  gave a word outlining what the Access students should anticipate and gain from the program.

Last but not least, a series of videos were displayed, summarizing the experience of the 15th cohort who have become alumni, the Access experience and its life impact, and finally the testimonials and achievements of some of the Program’s earlier alumni to encourage and inspire the current cohort.

The ceremony closed with the distribution of certificates of awards to the students, followed by lunch and group pictures. 

“The event was well-organized. Students felt engaged due to the interactive game and to the Access alumni testimonials that were inspiring and encouraging. I was thrilled to see students, who don’t have the economical means to enhance their English and other important skills, engaged and happy to be in part of this amazing program. This program is a blessing to all of the Access family.” - Zeinab Haj Hassan- Access teachers – Douris-Baalback Public High School

“Yesterday was an incredible day. I liked about the Opening Ceremony how they put us on a table with people that we don’t know in order to be more sociable and to step outside our comfort zone and talk to make new friends and experiences. I also appreciated that they showed us speaking videos of people who were before in this program and how it benefited them, which will make us more excited and interested to complete Access 16” - Israa Younis- Access student – Douris-Baalback Public High School

“Yesterday’s experience was the best. We really had a lot of fun meeting new people, access teachers and also the Access alumni; they were all very nice and kind people. Actually, I am so excited to continue this awesome journey with everyone in the Access program and can’t wait for new things!” - Maryiam Ayoub - Access student – Douris-Baalback Public High School

to people saying nice words to access 16 students.  Honestly, these words gave me energy to work hard to reach success.  I hope I can visit this place again.” - Aya Rida- Access student - Rammal Rammal high school (Nabatieh)

“I had a lot of fun and it was a special and a motivating experience that made me care more about my goals. Thank you for making me meet many new friends and get to know them. I was amazed by the words of the teachers and the videos of the people who were previously in this program. I told myself I will be like them one day and I will hold responsibility. I hope to reach their level of language and experience.” Doaa Zahwi- Access Standby student- Rammal Rammal high school (Nabatieh)

“It was a beautiful experience joining such a beautiful family. It was a great joy yesterday to go there and meet good people.” Yara Shantaf- Access student- Marjayoun Public High School

"Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world”

- Nelson Mandela -