Briya participates in international UNESCO family learning workshop

Lorie Preheim, Academic Dean, represented Briya and the United States at a three-day workshop on intergenerational learning organized by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning.

The workshop, held in Hamburg, Germany, brought together family learning experts from twenty-one countries. These experts shared experiences and best practices from intergenerational learning programs in their communities, which will be used to create an evidence-based resource pack for others who are interested in starting similar programs.

“It was a fascinating experience,” Preheim said. “I know a lot about family literacy in the United States, but I didn’t realize how much family literacy was going on all around the world, where the intention is to raise the literacy level of both the parent and the child.”

During the workshop, representatives each shared about aspects of their intergenerational learning program and made recommendations for the concepts and materials to be included in the resource pack.

“It was interesting to see commonalities and differences among the programs,” Preheim said. “For example, family reading was something you saw in many different countries as a strategy for raising literacy. We also talked a lot about the importance of educators being from the community itself so they can better understand and connect with participants.”

The final resource pack will include a wide range of materials—including guidelines for program development and curriculum, recommendations and examples of program content, and assessment tools. The pack will be published in 2017 in both English and French.

Third class of medical assistant students celebrate accomplishments

Eden Asmelash, co-valedictorian of Briya’s third medical assistant class“Let our passion shine out with all we do and impact someone’s life for the better,” said Eden Asmelash, co-valedictorian of Briya’s third medical assistant class. “Let us always be there in someone else’s shoes, feel the pain down in our heart, and stretch out our hands to help them.”

Asmelash was addressing her 18 fellow MA graduates, who were celebrating their accomplishments during ceremony this December.

Co-valedictorian Rosa Ramos also spoke at the ceremony.

“This past year has changed me,” Ramos said. “I had been working in a medical office, but I didn’t have enough experience and education to understand people and have compassion. I was treating them like someone who was coming in a restaurant. I wasn’t treating them like they were going through pain and needing help and comforting.”

“Now, the doctor at the medical office trusts me to deliver the right message to the patient, and that I owe to my year here in the MA Program,” she said. “Behind every patient is a different story.”

During the ceremony, students were recognized for their accomplishments, including five graduates who already have jobs as medical assistants. In addition, three students were recognized for having perfect attendance–meaning they did not miss a single class period during the entire program.

To close her valedictorian speech, Ramos expressed her gratitude to the MA Program staff.

“All of you are in our hearts because your patience and understanding cannot be underestimated, she said. “Thank you for supporting, caring, and believing in us. You taught us to carry patience, compassion and knowledge with us to practice in our daily living.”