Centre Gives: Thank you!

We want to express our sincere gratitude for your generous support during Centre Gives. We are incredibly grateful for your generosity and your belief in our mission. Your support means the world to us. Thank you so much for making a difference!

Centre Gives

Centre County is hosting the biggest giving event in the area, and Global Connections is waiting for your help. Centre Gives is happening from May 10th, starting at 8 AM, till May 11th, ending at 8 PM. To help Global Connections Please, donate Here! We trully appreciate your generosity. 

Global Connections’ goal during Centre Gives is to raise $2,000. The money will be used to strengthen our finances and expand program offerings.

Our activities include free classes to learn English as a Second Language (ESL), book clubs, cultural luncheons, a discussion group, poetry readings, and informal cultural, educational, and exchange activities and interactions. Also, with the fund, GC can help people in need in the community.

Another essential goal during Centre Gives is to spread the word about Global Connections’ work. It is important to emphasize that no money would go to administrative costs. We aim to foster meaningful relationships through service, education, and partnership. 

Saudi Arabian Cultural Luncheon

Tuesday, April 25, brought Saudi Arabia to State College when Global Connections hosted a Saudi-themed Cultural Luncheon at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Port Matilda.

Heartfelt thanks go to Manar Salamah and her expert team of cooks who prepared a splendid array of Saudi dishes to serve to the 20 guests who registered for the event. Thanks, too, to GC member Abdulaziz Albawardi, who gave an interesting and informative presentation on Saudi Arabia’s strategic goals for 2030.

After the two-year COVID-19 hiatus, we are overjoyed that GC is again been able to mount in-person Cultural Luncheons, one of the pillars of our many activities, We look forward to more such luncheons in the near future and will keep you posted as details arise.

Saudi Arabian Cultural Luncheon

Global Connections (GC), Centre County’s first and longest standing (since 1961) community-based, volunteer-driven non-profit international relations organization, will host a Saudi Arabian luncheon.

This gathering marks a welcome return to cherished Global Connections tradition and is our first in-person cultural luncheon since before the pandemic.

Native Saudis will prepare and serve hot and cold dishes from their country and make presentations on Saudi Arabian culture.  There will also be Saudi music and time for Q&A.

Interested in this unique event? Please, Register Here!

Admission charge is $10 for registered Global Connections members and $15 for nonmembers.   

Global Connections ESL tutor helps former GC member launch U.S. citizenship

One of the very first things Dr. Olga Bakayev, dermatologist from Moscow, did when she relocated to State College in May 2019 was to join Global Connections (GC). “When I arrived in State College,” Olga notes, “my English was nowhere near good enough to pass the US Medical Licensing Exams and get certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign-Trained Medical Graduates so that I could practice medicine in the US. Global Connections kept popping up as a good resource for learning and practicing English, so I joined up. I am really glad I did.”

Olga started out in GC President Bob Persiko’s English Language Classes (www.gc-cc.org/programs/english-language-classes/).  She then contacted Wenjie Fu at Penn State’s Global Programs Office to learn about other available resources. Serendipitously, just a few days before that, GC Treasurer Bruce Truitt had offered to serve as a Global Programs Conversation Partner for Russian (and Spanish) speakers. Wenjie connected Olga and Bruce, and after an initial meeting on June 24, 2019, they began weekly sessions focusing on English grammar, usage, and conversation and on various aspects of the American experience. 

“I am thankful to Bruce for illuminating the similarities between English and Russian grammar. His insights helped me establish a strong foundation in the new language. I truly appreciate his patient and nonjudgmental approach, which enabled me to overcome the fear of speaking English so common among beginners,” Olga noted. 

Olga also feels that “The process of integrating a new member into American society is often undervalued. Even if one has a good grasp of English, cultural differences and social barriers can still pose significant challenges to this integration. This is why I am so glad that Bruce not only taught me English but also helped me learn important things about US society, culture, politics, geography, the arts, and so on. We have worked together steadily over the last 3.5 years, even though I relocated to Brooklyn. And our regular meetings definitely helped me pass the first of the three Medical Licensing Tests I must conquer.”

Olga recently surmounted another critical hurdle – she passed her U.S. Citizenship Test. “I am elated and proud to be an American. I could not have done it without Bruce’s expert assistance or the support of Global Connections. Thanks so much!”