Cardona, set to become US Secretary of Education, tells New Britain High English learner students they too can become a success story
In many ways, Dr. Miguel Cardona has a lot in common with New Britain High School students, including being from an immigrant family, growing up bicultural and loving MufonGo’s, a Puerto Rican restaurant in New Britain.
“I had a pork dish that I couldn’t finish, it was so delicious,” Cardona said with a laugh to a virtual audience of roughly 100 New Britain High School English learner students Thursday. “I actually started my career at New Britain High School as a tutor. I remember the wonderful people that I worked with and that’s the kind of people you want to surround yourself with.”
Joined by Dr. Marisa Cartiera, an English Learner teacher, Wanda Lickwar, district coordinator of Bilingual ESL and World Language and Superintendent Nancy Sarra in a virtual chat, students were able to learn more about how Cardona’s roots and background became the foundation of his success story.
Poised to become the next U.S. Secretary of Education for President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet, Cardona hoped his experiences will inspire students to achieve great things and to be proud of who they are.
“I was born in Meriden. My parents are from Puerto Rico and I learned Spanish before I learned English,” he said. “I think one thing that’s important to remember is to not forget your native language and be proud of being bicultural. That served me well and it can be a blessing for you.”
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