Manuel Garcia Perez and Remberto Angular have graduated from English as a Second Language (ESL) students at Gloucester County College to American citizens with full rights and privileges.
Perez, of the Dominican Republic, and Angular, of Guatemala, have successfully completed the Process of Naturalization set forth by the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services. The examination has two components, English language and American history, both of which are incorporated into the ESL curriculum offered through the GCC Division of Continuing Education.
A former police officer, Perez moved to America with hopes of more opportunity. He resides in Williamstown along with his wife, Joanna Torres, who is presently in Puerto Rico completing a medical residency in psychiatry. His goal is to become an international airline pilot.
At 15, Angular emigrated to the U.S alone. Although he did not know English, he aspired to the American dream. More than 25 years later he proudly owns a small business, a pizzeria restaurant, as well as his home.
"I am so happy for Manuel and Remberto because they are proud of themselves," said ESL Instructor Nancy Nolan. "This gives them prestige, rights and security. They are an inspiration to our other students."
According to Nolan, students have enrolled in her classes from around the world. She now works with individuals from Mexico, Mali, Syria and India. The curriculum is designed to improve communication skills in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Classes range from basic to advanced levels to accommodate the needs of all students.
The ESL program is free and open to Gloucester County residents. For more information or to register, call 856-468-5000, ext. 6227.
The GCC Continuing Education Center is located at 1492 Tanyard Road in Deptford, right off Exit 56 of Route 55.