Campus & Community

Bridge Program graduates celebrate literacy

2 min read
Grace Marriappan, a Harvard Dining Services employee, delivers a speech in English while a beaming Liz Forest, Marriappan’s tutor and a former student herself, looks on. (Staff photos Jon Chase/Harvard News Office)

To the strains of “We Are Family,” 519 students who participated in the Bridge program this year were recognized for their academic achievement at the Horner Room in Agassiz House on Sunday (May 22).The Harvard University Bridge to Learning and Literacy Program is an education program for the University’s service workers.Bridge teacher and career counselor Carla Fontaine (right) hugs student Louisa Lugo.This year, students from 34 different countries participated in the program, and 21 Bridge students became U.S. citizens, with the help of citizenship classes offered by the program.The 30-minute graduation ceremony featured talks by Director Carol Koleneik and three students and a tutor from the program who talked about their own experiences.Bridge student and HMS employee Magdali Gonzalez (below) enjoys a meal with her daughter Daiana, 6, before the ceremony.In addition, a Graduate School of Education work-study student discussed her experience working with Bridge students. Also addressing the assembled graduates and friends was Tim Bowman, associate dean of human resources from the Kennedy School. A slide-show presentation called “The Life of the Bridge” was one of the high points of the spirited gathering. – Staff