It was an evening of firsts for Adult Community Education of Martha’s Vineyard (ACE MV) as the organization hosted its first annual fundraiser, Charting Courses, at the West Chop Club on Saturday. The event also served as a celebration of 10 years of providing educational opportunities to Islanders.

But 10 wasn’t the only number executive director Sam Hart was excited to celebrate.

“There’s another number I want to talk about tonight other than 10 and it’s 764,” he said. He was referring to the number of working Islanders that ACE MV has helped gain credentials either through a professional license or college credit or workforce training certificate in the past three and a half years.

ACE MV offers a variety of classes for Islanders who want to earn technical certificates, licenses, master’s degrees, or the GED. The mission of the organization is to help students further their education without leaving the Island.

The evening included personal stories, including from Olsen Houghton and Lorena Crespo who spoke about completing their master’s degrees in education through ACE MV.

A native of Ecuador, Ms. Crespo came to the Island 12 years ago knowing no English. “I decided to study,” she said. “I met Lynn Ditchfield who was the founder and director of ACE MV. She became a teacher and my mentor.” She now teaches at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services and the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School.

Stonemason Alan Hartmann shared his story about obtaining a license to operate heavy equipment with the help of ACE.

“In my profession I use a lot of different types of equipment in the moving and setting of stones,” he said. “In the thousands of hours of operating I was looking to further my education and to obtain a license to be able to legally operate machinery.” After earning a 98 and 96 on the respective licensing exams, Mr. Hartmann received his certificate. The achievement gave him the opportunity work on the Squibnocket beach project in Chilmark.

Paul Osterman, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, gave the keynote address titled No Economy is an Island: A Skills Strategy for Martha’s Vineyard. The conversation, Mr. Osterman explained, was broken into three acts.

“The first act is all about what’s happening on the Island, the second act is about skill training, and the third act is about what the organization can be doing on Island to really contribute to the economic well-being of the Vineyard,” Mr. Osterman said.

Through slides, pictures and graphics, he provided a timeline of the changing labor market that he said underscored his belief in the future of the program. “I believe in organizations like ACE MV,” Mr. Osterman said. “Building a strong, community-based human capital organization is your challenge and your opportunity.”

The evening concluded with music from the Phil DaRosa Project under a tent on the side yard of the club. Program director Jeannine Lenehan expressed joy at what ACE has achieved and also hope for future students.

“We’re saying we want to take a chance on you.” Ms. Lenehan said. “That’s what happened for me, and that’s what we want to happen for others.”