The partnership between the United States Embassy in the Philippines and the Municipality of Bacnotan gets stronger as Mayor Francis Fontanilla and Dr. Carleen Velez, Regional English Language Officer of the Embassy, led the induction of scholars to the English Access Microscholarship Program.

Seventy five (75) students and six (6) teacher-facilitators of Bacnotan National High School and Bitalag Integrated School were inducted to the program yesterday, May 25, 2022, in a simple ceremony at the Bacnotan District Conference Center.

Mayor Francis thanked the US Embassy, through the Synergeia Foundation, for bringing the program to Bacnotan as he noted that this will further hone the skills and attitudes of these scholars as they become contributing partners in development.

Meanwhile, Dr. Velez applauded the Municipality of Bacnotan’s willingness to join the program as this shows strong conviction to empower its youth. LGU Bacnotan will be extending assistance to ensure success of the program.

Vice Mayor Divine Fontanilla expressed optimism that this program will open doors of opportunities for these scholars. This is a manifestation, she said, of this administration’s commitment to uplift literacy program of the LGU and improve the lives of Bacnotaneans through quality education.

The English Access Microscholarship Program is a global program supported by the U.S. Department of State. Access provides a foundation of English language skills to talented 13–15-year-olds from economically-disadvantaged sectors through after-school classes and intensive sessions.

Scholars were carefully selected through Synergeia Foundation led by Dr. Wilmida Guevara, President, and Ms. Maria Consuelo Doble, Program Officer for North Luzon.

The program, in partnership with Synergeia, is funded by the Education and Cultural office of the US Embassy in Manila. Access gives participants English skills that may lead to better jobs and educational prospects. Participants also gain the ability to compete for and participate in future exchanges and study in the United States.