McDonald's Celebrates New York's First 'English Under the Arches' Graduation

13 Suffolk County McDonald’s managers are the first graduates in NY of ‘English Under the Arches’, an English language learning course for non-native speaking employees.

Print Email

Graduating class.

Photo by: Owners of McDonald's New York Tri-State Restaurants.

Farmingville, NY - August 5, 2016 - Thirteen Suffolk County McDonald’s managers are the first graduates in New York of ‘English Under the Arches’, an English language learning course for non-native speaking employees. A special graduation ceremony was held in their honor in Farmingville, NY. The graduates–who immigrated from Mexico, Central and South American countries and rage in age from their early 30s to early 60s– were recognized by supervisors and colleagues for successfully completing the first eight-week course of ‘English Under the Arches.’

Cesar Bernal Rios, McDonald's employee graduate of 'English Under the Arches.' Photo By: Owners of McDonald's New York Tri-State Restaurants.

‘English Under the Arches’ is one component of McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity, a set of programs developed to support restaurant employees across the country in pursuing their educational goals, whether it’s earning their high school diploma, pursuing a college degree or learning English. More than 6,800 restaurant employees are taking advantage of Archways to Opportunity nationwide since its launch in April 2015. Locally, 45% of restaurants in the New York Tri-State Area have an employee utilizing the programs.

The thirteen graduates of ‘English Under the Arches’ are:

  • Maria Barrera, 42, Farmingville, NY
  • Cesar Bernal Rios, 38, Middle Island, NY
  • Paula Bravo, 61, Farmingville, NY
  • Lila Correa, 33, Patchogue, NY
  • Ana Gonzalez, 33, Mastic, NY
  • Maria Gonzalez, 53, Mastic, NY
  • Patricia Gonzalez, 39, Medford, NY
  • Janneth Leon, 51, Patchogue, NY
  • Rosario Lituma, 46, Patchogue, NY
  • Eleuteria Mejia, 42, Farmingville, NY
  • Maria Reyes, 47, East Patchogue, NY
  • Santos Velasquez, 40, Central Islip, NY
  • Juana Zhumi, 46, Patchogue, NY

“’English Under the Arches’ has been a wonderful experience,” said Eleuteria Mejia, a McDonald’s crew trainer in Farmingville who has been with the Kaufman organization for 11 years. “I want to thank my owner-operator and the McDonald’s corporation for giving me the opportunity to learn new things.”

“Archways to Opportunity is a fantastic program that I encourage all my employees to take part in,” said Josh Kaufman, a McDonald’s franchisee who owns and operates the restaurants where the graduates work. “We are proud to support them in their goals, wherever they may be in their educational journey.”

McDonald’s is committed to leading the industry in promoting comprehensive workforce education in a way that helps employees succeed no matter where they might be on their educational journey. The company aims to use its scale to be part of the solution to close the education gap in this country and they are listening to employee feedback to make developmental programs successful.

For more information about McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program please visit here.

About McDonald’s New York Tri-State Restaurants
McDonald’s is one of the world’s best-known brands and is a global leader in food service. There are more than 600 McDonald’s restaurants, owned by 100 franchisees, located throughout the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Tri-State area. Visit or follow us on Twitter for more information about other McDonald's area programs.

About McDonald's
McDonald's USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to approximately 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald's U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.