Teaching Success at The Professional School

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16-06-2017
The Vicente Ferrer Foundation USA (VFF USA) is thrilled to announce the save-the date for our annual gala, “Recipe for Empowerment” as October 6th, 2017.
15-06-2017
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They have slept little, but are all ready to start this important day. It's half past four in the morning and the students from the Professional School are ready for their four-hour drive to the city of Bangalore to take an official German language exam. For the past eight months, they have studied for this single test.
 
The 54 students of the Professional School all have university degrees, despite coming from rural villages. They are breaking the cycle of poverty by demonstrating how education can change lives.
 
The Vicente Ferrer Foundation launched the Professional School in 2012 to help rural professionals from the disadvantaged communities of Anantapur and Kurnool districts find better work opportunities. Rural graduates find it difficult to compete with their urban counterparts for many jobs due to barriers such as distance, social networks, and self-esteem.

The school operates a residential program to strengthen their English skills and teach them a second foreign language such as German, French, or Spanish. The program also focuses on the important soft skills that allow them to advocate for themselves in interviews and demonstrate their knowledge.
 
"The big gap many of our students face is their lack of ability to communicate and their lack of social skills,” adds school principal Geetha Vallivedu. “If you know languages ​​and also know how to relate, it will be much easier to adapt to new situations."
 
The school has proven to be highly effective: 98 percent of all students begin employment within 90 days of ending the program. "Mastering a foreign language assures job placements. The unprecedented growth of opportunities within multinational companies has driven our success for marginalized communities," says project coordinator Jose Antonio Hoyos. Last year, more 500 applicants sought to enter the program, but the school could only accept 50.
 
Amaravathi, a graduate in chemistry, was one of the lucky ones to be accepted.
 
"I never thought that I would learn foreign languages,” he says. “In my village, people only speak Telugu, the language of Andhra Pradesh, and many leave school in high school.”
 
For these students, the Professional School is opening more doors than they could ever imagine.