Irving ISD Adult Education and Literacy Student Wins Researcher of the Year Award
During the week of September 18-24, Texas Adult Education and Family Literacy Week is observed statewide. To celebrate, the Texas Workforce Commission is recognizing six individuals with the Texas Workforce Commission Adult Education and Literacy Scholar of the Year Award. This award is given to students who have demonstrated great resilience, dedication and leadership. Of six academics from the state of Texas, one was from the Irving ISD Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) program, Eric Vincent Fomo.
Originally from 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 massive culture shock.
“After moving to Irving, I started going to the Irving Public Library regularly to improve my English,” says Fomo.
It was there that he discovered the Irving ISD AEL program.
Fomo had previously obtained a bachelor’s degree in mass communications in Cameroon and wanted to continue his studies in the United States. He knew he would have more opportunities if he learned the English language, and AEL came into his life just in time. Since joining the program, Fomo has not only learned the English language, he has also gotten a job. He attributes his success to his teacher, Juan Camarillo.
“You could tell he has a real passion for teaching,” he adds.
Since being in his class, Fomo says he’s built a solid relationship with Camarillo, one he’s grateful for.
“No matter where you’re from, Mr. Camarillo is there for all of his students,” says Fomo. “He was always there to help me and answer all my questions.”
Camarillo, along with Irving ISD AEL Program Manager Delia Watley, nominated Fomo for the Texas Workforce Commission’s Adult Education and Literacy Researcher of the Year Award.
“Mr. Fomo was a class leader who motivated his classmates to excel in and out of class,” says Watley. “We are all very proud of him.”
The Irving ISD AEL program provides education and job readiness as well as resources for students so they can excel – professionally and personally.
“Being in the classroom with such diverse students was a great experience,” says Fomo. “We are getting to know each other and getting to know each other’s journey better.
Fomo also says being in the classroom has made him more comfortable talking and building relationships.
“We were able to bond because even though we come from different countries, we all have similarities in our history,” he adds.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about Irving ISD’s adult education and literacy program, visit IrvingISD.net/AEL.