Islamabad - Seventy-five alumni of the US embassy’s English Access Microscholarship Programme gathered in Islamabad for two days for Pakistan Access Alumni Reconnect, an embassy statement said yesterday.

The two-day conference focused on building skills to enable participants to successfully lead community development initiatives and promote the study of the English language in their communities across Pakistan.

“These English-language teachers and students have already demonstrated impressive leadership skills and a passion for their communities,” US Embassy Regional English Language Officer Jen MacArthur said.

“Each of them has the potential to make a lasting, positive impact on communities across Pakistan, and I look forward to seeing what they achieve in the coming years,” he added.

The conference participants, who hailed from all across Pakistan, gained new technical and problem-solving skills relating to community development, engaged in team-building activities, and completed a community service project at Daman-e-Koh garden.

“I am excited to connect with old peers again and conduct alumni activities to benefit our communities,” said Shan Elahi, who participated in the Access Programme from 2014 to 2016 in Kasur.

Nearly 3,000 students across Pakistan currently participate in the US Embassy’s English Access Microscholarship Programme. Since the programme’s launch in Pakistan in 2004, more than 11,000 talented 13 to 20-year-old from all over Pakistan have received after-school English language classes and other intensive training through the programme.  Participants gain the ability to compete for and participate in future exchanges and study in the United States.