“Our dreams have come true,” said Tsering Mulug-Labrang, an MIT Facilities staff member speaking for herself and her colleague Dolma Tsering on what it means to receive their adult high school diplomas. These two MIT employees were celebrated for this accomplishment at a gathering on Oct. 29 in the Pappalardo Room.
Mulug-Labrang and Tsering achieved this feat through their involvement in MIT’s ESL Program for Service Employees — a program that reflects a diverse cross-MIT collaboration. Its administrative home is Human Resources; the students are employees from MIT Facilities; and the tutors are MIT Women’s League members, MIT employees, students, and volunteers who are friends of MIT.
Tsering thanked everyone who made the moment possible, but in fact all present in the room recognized it was the dedication and drive of these two employees that made it happen. Director of Campus Services and Chief of MIT Police John DiFava, the first sponsor of the ESL Program, observed, “We helped you, but you did it yourself.” He also placed this accomplishment in the context of a bigger Institute picture: “You represent the most important part of MIT’s mission — a commitment to lifelong learning.”
Among those marking the event included Ellen Stordy, chair of the Women’s League and an MIT retiree, involved in the pilot program — which was the brainchild of Nancy Kelly, the current MIT ESL coordinator and Marlyse Lupis, a Women’s League member. The program started in 2009, and 50 employees have participated during this time.
Tony Sharon, MIT deputy executive vice president, thanked the families of Mulug-Labrang and Tsering for coming to MIT that evening to celebrate the occasion. He turned to their young children and noted that when they were older, they would better understand this important milestone in their mothers’ lives.
Yet despite their age, perhaps they already do, as these two MIT employees and high school graduates are now able to help their children with their homework.