Celest and Jessica Quintana hosted a graduation ceremony in Union City to celebrate the most recent graduates of McDonald’s English Under the Arches (EUA), an English as a Second Language (ESL) program specifically designed to help employees advance in their careers. The mother and daughter duo, who own several McDonald’s restaurants in the area, honored fifteen of their managers for successfully finishing the eight-week curriculum. Ranging in age from their late 20s to late 50s, the graduates came from Central and South American countries.
New Jersey State Assemblyman Raj Mukherji of the 33rd legislative district was also in attendance to personally congratulate the class. The Assemblyman presented each graduate with official state proclamations in honor of their achievements and dedication to serving the community.
EUA courses are offered free of charge to eligible employees of independently owned and operated franchise restaurants and McDonald’s corporately-owned restaurants. The courses teach students the English they need to communicate effectively and confidently with customers and staff on a daily basis. Employees who are selected to participate in EUA have been identified as high-potential managers who would provide continued value and progress rapidly with the aid of language training. Classes are held during work hours and student-employees receive regular wages for the time they spend in EUA.
“English Under the Arches not only helps my managers at work to better interact with customers and employees, but at home as well.” said Jessica Quintana. “I’m truly proud to have them on my team.”
“This class was important to my job, for me to improve my English,” said Patricia Rosales, a manager at the Journal Square McDonald’s restaurant. “Now I can better communicate with customers, employees and everyone else.”
The fifteen graduates of English Under the Arches are:
- Estefania Andrade, 43, West Orange, NJ
- Petra Bonilla, 30, Newark, NJ
- Deisy Coello, 54, Jersey City, NJ
- William De La Cruz, 43, Union City, NJ
- Abigail Feria, 27, Jersey City, NJ
- Jessica Gomez, 42, Union City, NJ
- Mercy Gomez, 59, Jersey City, NJ
- Norma Navia, 47, Union City, NJ
- Juana Ortiz, 39, Jersey City, NJ
- Silvia Perez, 42, Jersey City, NJ
- Veronica Perez, 36, Jersey City, NJ
- Patricia Rosales, 36, Jersey City, NJ
- Lidia Sanchez, 38, Jersey City, NJ
- Elizabeth Sanchez, 29, Jersey City, NJ
- Leyla Vargas, 38, Union City, NJ
The first EUA graduation in New Jersey took place earlier this year in Fairfield.
English Under the Arches is part of McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity™, which promotes workforce education to ensure employee success and advancement. In addition to EUA, other Archways to Opportunity programs include high school completion, tuition assistance and education advising. Click here to learn more about Archways to Opportunity.