Peshawar (Khyber Mail): Consul General Shante Moore of the U.S. Consulate General Peshawar and Bettina Malone, the U.S. Embassy’s Minister Counselor for Public Affairs, joined 200 English Access Scholarship Program alumni, teachers, and administrators at the Serena Hotel to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the program’s 2004 launch in Pakistan.

The U.S. Embassy-funded initiative provides English-language and leadership skills training to 13- to 20-year-old students from disadvantaged communities. Since the program’s inception in Islamabad, 27,000 Pakistani students have completed the two-year course. In KP, where Access began in 2008, there are nearly 3,000 graduates.

“Education is the cornerstone of progress for any community,” said Consul General Moore. “Through the English Access Scholarship Program, we invest in an interconnected world where students can learn and explore opportunities as global citizens.”

MCPA Malone noted that the Embassy’s “English-language programs are one of the highlights of the long-standing cooperation between the United States and Pakistan,” adding that “Access also teaches leadership skills and fosters a sense of self-belief that transcends the classroom and extends into every aspect of life.”

Access programs are underway in 24 Pakistani cities, including Swabi, Charsadda, Malakand, and Mansehra. A new Access class will begin in Nowshera this summer, and there are plans for future programs in Mardan and Peshawar.

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