A Proud Day for ORT College
“Los Angeles ORT has been like a training ground, perhaps a cocoon, if you will – to develop and polish the skills I need to go forth in this world. Create – Contribute – And Be Counted… One step at a time, one problem, one module, one challenge, one opportunity—as they come…”
On October 10th, amid balloons and gowns, teary eyes and smiles, ORT College celebrated our recent graduates with a commencement ceremony. Valedictorians spoke about the challenges they’ve overcome and how they are now better prepared to meet challenges in the future. Our students come from many different backgrounds, and the paths they took to graduation are equally diverse.
From ESL Student to Valedictorian
Originally a graduate of the ESL diploma program, Hatya Mahdavi Khanooki has worked hard since arriving in America from Iran. Thanks to her diligence and enthusiasm, she finished her Medical Assistant Diploma at the top of her class! Hatya was quick to thank her family, teachers and more for helping her accomplish so much.
“Now I’m standing here, honored with high self-confidence because of ORT College’s staff. All employees here are not just staff, they are your friends. They are here to help us as we need it.
[My teacher] Mrs. Peek taught me how to be strong, how to solve problems and make the right decisions, how to be thankful of people who try to make a better world for others, how to be successful in my new life, and more.
Los Angeles ORT College supports. Everyone here is ready to help you. It doesn’t matter if they know you or not, just ask. All teachers helped me when I asked; all staff listened to me when I felt loneliness with no expectation.”
—Hatya Mahdavi Khanooki
Milestones Today and More for Tomorrow
For many immigrants to America, a language barrier can cause isolation and constrain their career options. Yun Hwa Jo received her English as a Second Language Diploma, and topped off her diploma by delivering an entire speech in her new language!
“When I first arrived here in America last year, I was worried and afraid because I was not sure if I would be able to live with strangers who I did not even share the language with.
But as time went by…I was able to express myself in the market, at my children’s school…It wasn’t perfect but I was able to speak what I felt, and now, I am not afraid to speak English—I feel like I have become a mother my children can be proud of.
I believe it was because the classes were fun and interesting that I continued to attend [them], and studied passionately. The only thing regrettable is that the time to be with the teachers was short, as our levels kept going up.”
—Yun Hwa Jo
Diploma in ESL, Valedictorian
Fulfilling More Than Personal Goals
Graduation is often an achievement for more than the graduate. Family and friends support our graduates outside the classroom as much as our faculty and staff support them inside the classroom. For at least one graduate, earning her degree meant the realization of a goal over 25 years in the making.
“[My father] was very upset when I was younger about my decision to NOT attend school for a further education. We would always constantly disagree adamantly about the importance of proper schooling. Turns out – Father knows best! I know that he thought he would never live to see the day that his daughter would get a degree.”
When Graduation Ends, the Future Begins
“We all chose this school to meet the demands of the world in these ever-changing times, to begin a journey that would lead to a bright future and open new possibilities. Each of us has a story that drove us to finish here at Los Angeles ORT and here we are today, ready to start a career and begin a new journey driven by all the hard work we have put in here at Los Angeles ORT.”
Associate’s Degree in Accounting, Valedictorian
We couldn’t be prouder of our graduates and we wish them all the best! They’re all moving into the next chapter of their stories. We’d love to help you start the next chapter in yours!