Lifelong Education & UNP’s New American Academic Network

In this muddled time, the New American Academic Network (NAAN) has initiated new ways to incubate our mission and improve. Our focus is on personal development and enhancing social inclusion, as well as employment opportunities. Despite working online, we have preserved the connection with the community to gather needs and plan for the best outcomes, motivating the community to learn to better process what is going on around us. Despite these chaotic circumstances, learning should not stop. New techniques can be adopted to cope with the present situation and to nurture the required skills for individuals.

Lifelong education is about empowering people to learn at different times and for diverse purposes, stages, and outcomes. Lifelong education is concerned with providing learning opportunities throughout an individual’s life, thus giving special attention to all types of continuing education and adult education, while developing all learners. The implementation of this continuing education depends on a set of strategies, which public and private educational institutions must strive to provide to interested individuals. NAAN maintains partnerships with such institutions to benefit individuals and the community.

NAAN promotes education in all its aspects and supports education in schools, colleges, universities, the workplace, and through digital media to acquire and enhance knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The pandemic demands applying updated modern educational tools and reducing reliance on traditional institutions. This helps to eliminate barriers for individuals seeking education and ensures fair access.

“I moved to the United States in 2017. I worked as a doctor for two years before the move from Kenya. NAAN was introduced to me by a friend. Before that I was in limbo for at least two years. Moving to United States required that I retake the board exams (United States Medical Legal Exams) for me to get back into medical field again.

“NAAN helped me emotionally and psychologically, especially in a new country and as a new mother. I could always come and talk to Farah and Abdulkhaliq to get perspective. They referred me to more resources in my field.

“I received financial assistance for my study materials and was always made to feel that the door was open to me. It never felt like an institution. It felt like a safe place to turn to as needed.”
~ Fouzia Mohammed

“NAAN has been helping me and my daughter on our educational journies. It has helped me further my pursuit of a Masters of Social Work at the University of Utah. It helped me to be on the right track and complete the pre-requisites at Salt Lake Community College as preparation for my MSW application.

“Without NAAN, I would not have been able to complete this past semester. I am forever grateful for this generous opportunity. I would like to thank them, especially Farah, the New American Academic Network Coordinator. She always follows up with us to see how everything is going and if we need anything. I am so grateful and lucky to have this support in my education.”
~ Ghasaq Maiber

“My name is Beam Deji-Olatunde. My educational history is a testimonial that, most often, people need the necessary support to get to their destination. In the absence of such support, it is often difficult to move forward. Of course, I already held a master’s degree when I got to Utah. However, moving forward to seek a doctoral degree would not have been possible without UNP. I have dreamt of a doctoral degree for years.

“UNP opened a door that has led me through to today. When I was stuck with my research transcription, UNP helped. When my research graphic was giving me headaches, UNP helped. I do not even know if UNP comprehends how much they have affected my life. Thus, I have realized that consistency with time is the true test of efficiency. Empowering people is empowering the community. Hence, it is my desire to give back to the community in a big way. ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’”
~ Beam Deji-Olatunde

Content provided by Farah Ali, New American Academic Network Coordinator, UNP