The Bhutanese Community Association of Charlotte (BCAC) honored 51 high school graduates amidst a community graduation program organized in Charlotte, NC, Saturday.
According to BCAC Chairperson, Hasta Pradhan, those honored for their achievement included Bhutanese students who graduated from high school between 2009-2013.
Dr. Michael Friedland, Director of the Friedland Foundation and Monsignor Mauricio West, Vicar General Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte, awarded the graduates with medal and letters of appreciation on behalf of the community.
In his congratulatory message delivered during the event Pradhan said that BCAC decided to organize such a program in order to establish a culture of recognizing and appreciating each other’s achievement and happiness in the community.
He also asked the high school graduates not to forget that their parents have lots of expectations and hopes from them.
“Culturally, you have grown up in a community that entirely depends on your education and progress. This means, your success brings trucks of joys not only in your family and among friends, but also in the entire Bhutanese community,” said he.
Different guest speakers, including representatives from resettlement agencies, university, cross-cultural agencies, and local schools, also congratulated the high school graduates.
Ellen Dubin, Executive Director of the Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency, lauded achievements of resettled Bhutanese and their children in the United States.
Dubin, who burst into tears while delivering her speech, also requested the Bhutanese graduates to aim high and be prepared for tougher competitions in the United States.
Dr. Michael Friedland seconded Dublin’s say.
“Students may regard that a time period of four years to earn an undergrad degree in the United States shouldn’t stand as a barrier in enrolling for a college degree. This time isn’t long if you consider your 40 plus years of your career in the life,” Dr Friedland mentioned.
Other guest speakers of the graduation program included Stacy Brown, Language Minority Resource Teacher from Smith Family Center, Tim Bunch, Student Recruiter & Enrollment Specialist at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), Brian Heslin, Attorney at Law at Moore & Van Allen, Cira Ponce, Director at the Catholic Charities-Refugee Office, Abdullah Sheikh, CEO at Language Resource Center, and Gregory Gabriel, teacher at Eastway Middle School, among others.
Meanwhile, Praja Subedi, a university student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) majoring in Civil Engineering, made a comparative PowerPoint presentation on education systems in the United States Vs. Nepal.
So far, only four individuals from the Bhutanese community in Charlotte are pursuing their undergraduate degrees at the UNCC. Of them, TP Mishra is majoring in International Studies, and Puskar Dhital and Dilli Subedi in Software Engineering.