01 July 2009 Record graduation class at ORT Bramson College More than 170 students have graduated from Bramson ORT College in New York the largest graduating class in the institutions 30-year history. Cheered on by proud friends and family, the graduates can look forward to succeeding in an increasingly difficult job market thanks to the respect employers have for the colleges qualifications in fields such as business management, computer technology and medical assistance and the on-going help of the colleges Career Service Department, which enjoys an 80 per cent job placement record. The graduates are among the more than 20,000 ORT students currently studying in the United States and perfectly illustrate ORTs ethos: helping Jews and non-Jews from underprivileged backgrounds gain the skills which will enable them to live independently and productively. Bramson ORT Class of 2009 honors graduates Ora Lubin and Erika Lopez. –> The lifelong knowledge youve learned and the practical job training skills youve acquired guarantee you a job and a bright future, Dr Ephraim Buhks, Director of US ORT Operations and Bramson ORT College, told the graduation ceremony at the Forest Hills Jewish Centre last week. By adding innovative programmes and cutting-edge course, Bramson ORT College is responding to students needs and job market demands. In this increasingly tough job market, we are helping our students improve their way of life and get top-quality job by providing them with a college-level technical, business and health service education. Bramsons students possess skills and relevant job experience that set them apart from other job seekers. The 171 graduates come from a staggering variety of backgrounds from Orthodox New York Jews to immigrants from as far away as Albania and Asia but all united in their ambition to make the best of the opportunities America has to offer, opportunities made accessible by ORT. ORT America Vice President and Chair of US ORT Operations Rosalind Vermut said: These graduates are the pride of their families. The paths they have travelled to get to Bramson ORT College have been different but the end result is the same. The training they have received at Bramson ORT is essential to their quickly entering the job market and to pursue a four-year degree at another institution. They are well prepared to take the next steps in their journey through life. Foremost among the graduates was Valbona Kaca, who emigrated from Albania with her husband and two sons four years ago. She took advantage of Bramson ORTs work-study programme to pursue two majors Medical Office Assistant and Medical Assistant and was awarded the Dean Barry M Glotzer Memorial Award for academic excellence. When my family came to this country I didnt know a word of English, said Mrs Kaca, who had been a veterinary surgeon in Albania. A friend of mine advised me to enrol at Bramson so that I could take their excellent English as a Second Language classes while earning credits for a career in the medical field. I immediately liked the school and have the utmost praise for my caring instructors who guided me through some challenging times. ORT Americas Marketing Chair, Lynn Leeb, presented the Loeb and Troper Academic Achievement Award to Muhua Lu, who arrived in America in 2006 unable to speak English but now has a two-year associated degree in accounting. Ms Leeb said: It is so exciting to look out at the sea of faces at graduation and see the reflection of the diversity of Bramsons multicultural student body and to think about the wonderful opportunities that now await these individuals. Bramson ORT has given them not only the tools but also the confidence and desire to succeed. New Yorker Ora Lubin, who graduated with an associate degree in accounting, had joined the college in order to gain the skills she needed to enable her to better her familys financial situation. What I liked most about Bramson ORT College was its small classes, Mrs Lubin, an Orthodox Jewish mother-of-two, said. The teachers give more attention to students, which certainly made it easier for me to learn. This nurturing environment allowed me to build close relationships with my teachers. My experiences at Bramson have resulted in giving me a new-found confidence. Now I feel like I can accomplish anything and have little doubt that I will soon secure a good job in accounting where I can utilise the skills Ive learned. Fellow New Yorker Kelly Garcia graduated with an associate degree in Administrative Assistance and was awarded the KIS Associates Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. Enrolling at Bramson was the best decision of my life, Mrs Garcia, who has a four-year-old daughter, said. Their courses broadened my range of knowledge and gave me hands-on experience in basic and specialised office skills. I thank my teachers because they believed in my abilities and brought out my potential. I have secured a good job and plan to continue my education with a bachelors degree in Human Resources Management. I owe it all to Bramson. One of the three recipients of the Nathan Gould Scholarship Award, which was established by Womens American ORT to help deserving Bramson ORT students pursue further education, was Damir Atashikov. Mr Atashikov left Uzbekistan last year and lives with Jewish family friends in New York while he is studying business management with a special focus on the hotel industry. Taking advantage of Bramsons work-study programme makes it possible for me to go to school, he said. Currently I am working in the colleges bursar office, which allows me to apply business principle taught in my accounting classes. Bramsons excellent hospitality management, sales psychology and human resources management courses are providing me with valuable skills and a solid foundation for employment in hotel hospitality. Thanks to Bramson ORT my dreams are coming true. Elizezar Cohen joined Bramson ORT College to complete his high school education and receive a diploma but was motivated by a teacher to develop academically and acquire professional skills. Mr Cohen has graduated with an associate degree in accounting. I wanted to enter the work force but was not sure what to do because I didnt have a high school diploma, Mr Cohen said. I felt lost, unsure of myself, but I knew that I had to get an education. Thanks to enrolling at Bramson ORT I now have a smile on my face. My associate degree in accounting will make it possible for me to have a career, not just a job. For additional information on Bramson ORT College, please call Dr Buhks at 718.261.5800, or email [email protected] or [email protected] , or online at www.bramsonort.edu.