U.S. Ambassador Blome At 20th Anniversary Celebration Of English Access Program

U.S. Ambassador Blome at 20th Anniversary Celebration of English Access Program

AMBASSADOR BLOME: Assalam-o-Alaikum! Good afternoon. It is an honor to be with you all.

Islamabad (Pakistan Point News - 03rd May, 2024) 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S.-English Access Scholarship program. It is an honor to be here today and spend time with the English Access community, including teachers and alumni. Today, we celebrate two decades of the Access Program and the remarkable achievements of alumni, students, and teachers. Throughout the year, we have been highlighting their exceptional achievements. Our English-language programs are one of the highlights of the long-standing cooperation between the United States and Pakistan. The U.S. government supports Access because we believe in building connections between Americans and Pakistanis. Since 2004, more than 27,000 Pakistani students have graduated from the Access program, including more than 8,000 here in the Islamabad region. My sincerest congratulations to all those present, please join me in giving the Access teachers and coordinators a big round of applause. Today, our Access alumni work in every profession you can think of – government, science, business, agriculture, academics, the arts, law enforcement, and many others. I am proud of their achievements and the role the U.S. mission in Pakistan has played in supporting them. During my tenure here in Islamabad, the U.S. Embassy and the Regional English Language Office at the Public Diplomacy section have held numerous gatherings, such as today’s anniversary celebration, to allow us to network, learn more about each other and to collaborate and exchange knowledge and experiences. I have traveled across Pakistan and have always been impressed with the impact Access alumni are having in their respective communities. Their journey towards community service, volunteerism, and spreading knowledge and opportunities to others who were once in their shoes creates the ripple effect fundamental to the principles of this program. Access is about far more than just developing English-language proficiency. It develops future leaders by teaching leadership skills and fostering a sense of self-belief that extends beyond the classroom and into practical life. This program provides opportunity and hope to those who might have otherwise been overlooked or underserved. I hope all the Access alumni present today are proud of yourselves for putting the tools Access taught you to great use. Whether that is achieving admissions into local universities, obtaining employment, or receiving scholarships to study in the U.S. As for the teachers, thank you so much for participating in our training and exchange programs and helping us teach American culture and values that lead to a stronger cultural understanding between our countries. Once again, I applaud the countless exemplary stories of success, resilience, and transformation I have seen, and the many more to come. Thank you to everyone who made this program possible and congratulations! I hope you enjoy the rest of the celebrations today.

Key Messages: Access 20th Anniversary Event

The following is attributable to U.S. Mission Spokesperson Jonathan Lalley:

  • Access to English opens a world of opportunity. Today, the United States is delighted to celebrate 20 years of the English Access Scholarship Program in Pakistan.
  • More than 27,000 Pakistani students have graduated from the program in the last two decades.
  • Access scholarships help Pakistani students from diverse backgrounds build English and leadership skills – including students who might otherwise be overlooked or underserved. The skills they learn during the two-year program have a life-long impact.
  • We are proud of the professional achievements of our Access alumni, and the positive and long-lasting impact they have on their communities. The work they are doing to build a brighter future reflects the best of the U.S.-Pakistan partnership.
  • For those who are interested in learning more about the Access program or other English learning opportunities, check out the “RELO Pakistan” Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/RELOPakistan/) or reach out to our Embassies, Consulates, and Lincoln Corners.