“Caminos Hacia el Éxito” creates partnership to help Latino women

June 12, 2018. Charlotte, North Carolina. – A group of fourteen Latino women graduated from the ESL Program “Caminos Hacia el Éxito” (Pathways to Success) on Tuesday June, 5th. This modality of the program, coordinated by Johnson C. Smith University’s Metropolitan College of Professional Studies, was developed in partnership with Novant Health and PNC Bank.

“You are now part of Johnson C. Smith University, you are Smithites”, said Dr. Laura McLean, Dean of Metropolitan College of Professional Studies. “You have our support so you and your children can continue advancing your education. This is only the beginning of a great pathway of opportunities for you”, added McLean.

During eight weeks, this group of students received English classes that included topics of leadership, health and financial education. “Our goal at “Caminos Hacia el Exito” is to equip the students with tools that give them access to more and better opportunities for their integral growth. This year we wanted to focus on women, as they tend to have less access to this kind of initiatives. With our partners, we wanted to bring a different model in order to serve them. This partnership also allowed us to take the program out to the community and make an impact beyond our campus,” said Irene Sandoval Arce, coordinator of the program.

This group of women actively participate in an initiative led by The Solomon House, a Novant Health’s ministry dedicated to serve the community in areas of health and wellbeing. Karina Runyan, Patricia Rubiano and Lucia Caro, from Novant Health’s The Solomon House, were part of the strategic team and attended the graduation ceremony. They encouraged the Latino community to improve their English communication skills so they can make progress and improve their quality of life in the United States. They also motivated the students to continue opening doors and making education for themselves and their children a priority.

Terhea Golden, AVP of Community Development Specialist at PNC Bank, also joined the graduation and reiterated her organization’s commitment to support women’s development. Golden confirmed that PNC Bank promotes access for women so they can manage their finances in an active and well informed manner. PNC Bank participated in the partnership as the facilitator of financial education modules and also sponsored the students’ tuition.

The English classes were led by Kurma Murrain, who applied her teaching skills with a cultural competency approach. During the graduation ceremony, Murrain shared one of her published poems that depicts her own experience as an immigrant, in an exercise that shows the way in which the instructor uses art as a learning tool.

The graduates received a certificate by Johnson C. Smith University and are now eligible to continue on the second level of the program, where they will acquire new vocabulary in English and will advance their comprehension, reading, writing and conversational skills.

“Caminos Hacia el Éxito” Graduation. June 5, 2018. Johnson C. Smith University, Metropolitan College of Professional Studies in partnership with Novant Health and PNC Bank. JCSU's Trustee Astrid Chirinos (on the right) joined the celebration.

“Caminos Hacia el Éxito” Graduation. June 5, 2018. Johnson C. Smith University, Metropolitan College of Professional Studies in partnership with Novant Health and PNC Bank. JCSU’s Trustee Astrid Chirinos (on the right) joined the celebration.

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