During the week of September 18 to 24, Texas Adult Education and Family Literacy Week is observed across the state. To celebrate, the Texas Workforce Commission recognizes six individuals with the Texas Workforce Commission Adult Education and Literacy Scholar of the Year Award. This award is presented to students who have shown great resilience, dedication and leadership. Out of six scholars across the state of Texas, one of those came from the Irving ISD Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) program, Eric Vincent Fomo.
A native of Cameroon, Fomo grew up speaking and writing in French – one of the country’s official languages. Needless to say, when he moved to the United States with his wife in September 2021, it was a huge culture shock.
“After moving to Irving, I began to go to the Irving Public Library regularly to improve my English,” says Fomo.
It was there that he discovered Irving ISD’s AEL program.
Fomo previously earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications in Cameroon and wanted to further his education in the states. He knew that he would have more opportunities if he learned the English language, and AEL came into his life right on time. Since joining the program, Fomo has not only learned the English language, he has earned a job as well. He credits his success to his teacher, Juan Camarillo.
“You can tell that he has a true passion for teaching,” he adds.
Since being in his class, Fomo says that he has built a strong relationship with Camarillo, a relationship that he is grateful for.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from, Mr. Camarillo is there for all of his students,” says Fomo. “He was always there to help and answer any questions I had.”
Camarillo, along with Irving ISD AEL Program Manager, Delia Watley, nominated Fomo for the Texas Workforce Commission Adult Education and Literacy Scholar of the Year Award.
“Mr. Fomo was a class leader who motivated his classmates to excel in and out of the classroom,” says Watley. “We are all very proud of him.”
The Irving ISD AEL program provides education and job readiness as well as resources to students so that they can excel – professionally and personally.
“Being in the class with such diverse students was a great experience,” says Fomo. “We’re able to get to know each other and learn more about each person’s background.”
Fomo also says being in the class setting made him get more comfortable with speaking up and building relationships.
“We were able to build bonds because even though we may be from different countries, we all have similarities in our story,” he adds.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about Irving ISD’s Adult Education and Literacy Program, visit IrvingISD.net/AEL.