Meet Our Students

Photo of Hilina from Ethiopia

Hello from Hilina

My name is Hilina. I am from Ethiopia and I speak Amharic. I came to Ithaca because my husband works for the City of Ithaca. I took English classes at BOCES ESL for more than a year and then got a paid internship at the School of Human Ecology at Cornell University. My husband and I also run an Ethiopian food kiosk at the Ithaca Farmers Market.


Photo of Dolma from Tibet.

T. Dolma – NYACCE Student of the Year 2015

Dolma came to the U.S. from Tibet with 5 years of education. She spent 5 more years at BOCES Adult Education Programs and received her High School Equivalency diploma in 2014. She and 18 other students from all over New York State were honored at a ceremony in Albany N.Y.

Congratulations to Dolma!


Photo of Mee Ngae from Burma

Hello from Mee Ngae

My name is Mee Ngae Soe. I’m from Burma. I speak the Karen language and Burmese.
I have been in Ithaca for eight years. I came here because my country had a civil war.
I like Ithaca and the people but I don’t like to eat American food!
I want to speak English very well. I heard about BOCES ESL program from my friends.
I studied English at BOCES for five years. Now I am studying to get my high school equivalency diploma. I am curious and interested. The teachers help me with grammar, math, social studies, science, reading, and writing. The grammar and stories about history are very interesting. My classes help me in my daily life because now I can communicate with the doctor, my sponsor, and friends.



Aigul tells her story

My name is Aigul. I am from Kazakistan. I speak Russian, Turkish, and Kazak.
I lived in Ithaca for one year and three months.
I moved to Ithaca because my spouse was studying at Cornell. My goal is to live comfortably here in the U.S. with my family.
I liked everything about these classes BOCES ESL offers here. My friend recommended this class to me. I think these classes are very helpful. You can speak with native-English speaking teachers, and this has made learning English much faster.
Every day at school is very different. You learn something new every day.