In September, Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) held a special Student Recognition Ceremony to honor DCLC students who earned their GED, as well as DCLC students who became U.S. citizens, who completed Home Health Aide training, and who won essay contests in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

DCLC students were honored for their achievements. Shown left to right are PA Representative Mike Zabel, PA Senator John Kane, DCLC Student Melis May Sagay, DCLC Student Most Bilkis Sultana, DCLC Student Dulce Zelaya, DCLC Student Sonia Bermeo-Talbot, and PA Representative Gina Curry.

Melis May Sagay (third from left in photo at right) recently became a U.S. citizen. She addressed the guests, saying, “I immigrated to America in 2016. I was a green card winner. My son was 2 years old, I was 39, my husband was 40. We spent more than half of our lives in another country. I made a choice; it was not easy; it still is not. But I have never regretted making this choice.

She went on to explain, “America gave us hope that we can do anything, it supported us. …This change made me stronger.”

Kate McGeever, Executive Director of the Delaware County Workforce Development Board, delivered the keynote address, which focused on gratitude. She told the honored students, “I am going to thank you for that first day you walked through those doors at the Literacy Council and said out loud ‘I have a goal.’ “

Pat Gunnin, Executive Director of DCLC, acknowledged the students’ dedication—even through the pandemic—by declaring, “You can’t stop a dream!”

Several elected officials representing Delaware County or their staff members attended the celebration, including PA Senator John Kane, Sarah McCullough of PA Senator Tim Kearney’s office, Dana Carter of PA Senator Anthony Williams’ office, PA Representative Gina Curry, and PA Representative Mike Zabel.

The celebration was held at the Delaware County Intermediate Unit on September 26, 2022. It was the first in-person celebration of DCLC student success since 2019. Kudos to all of these amazing students!