On Thursday, March 19th the Carlos Rosario School gave a rousing welcome to His Royal Highness Prince Charles complete with a Mariachi band, waving flags, and hand-drawn signs. This visit provided a great opportunity to shine a national and international spotlight on the stories of student determination and success, and on the school’s larger impact on the community.
As the prince walked the halls of the school, he was greeted by cheering students and staff alike. At one point the future king stopped to dance to the festive music of a student-led mariachi band. On a tour of the school he visited four classrooms and stopped to watch students engaged in learning activities. He saw a group practicing vowel sounds in an English language literacy class, and learning how to compare credit card offers in an intermediate ESL class. In the computer assisted language learning lab, intermediate level ESL students were searching for jobs on Craigslist.
ESL level 3 teacher Lisa Walker who welcomed the prince into her classroom reflected,
“This was such an exciting event and I was so glad to share it with the students, many who said this was their best day in Washington, D.C.”
At a stop in the culinary arts teaching kitchen, His Royal Highness interacted with students who had gained language skills and moved into a career training program. The prince sampled the pound cake with orange marmalade and shaved chocolate prepared by students. Seeing the prosciutto with mozzarella and figs, and mushrooms with truffle oil wrapped in puff pastry the prince remarked, “I wish I could try all of these.”
After the kitchen, His Royal Highness headed to the main office where he met school founder and president emeritus Sonia Gutierrez. Following an intimate meet and greet with board members, employer partners, and school leaders, Sonia invited the prince to unveil a plaque that will be installed to commemorate the visit.
One highlight of the visit was when two student representatives, Francisco Ferrufino of El Salvador and Adenike Adeliyi of Nigeria presented the prince with a hand-crafted memento. On behalf of the school community, the two representatives expressed their appreciation for the visit.
In an interview with the Washington Post ED/CEO Allison Kokkoros said that the visit was a validation of the hard work the students do every day to build new lives in a new country.