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Graduands warned to prepare for bigger challenges in future

Graduands warned to  prepare for bigger  challenges in future

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Girls graduating from the St Vincent Girls’ High School in the institution’s 104th year of existence have been encouraged to embody the motto: “Per Ardua Ad Alta – Through Difficulties, to the Heights.”

This was the advice given by COURTS St Vincent Limited senior {{more}}manager Michele Samuel, as she delivered the feature address to 128 young women at this year’s graduation, which was held on June 25.

In her address, Samuel warned graduands of the difficult days ahead in their lives, as they go on to learn many of life’s lessons. While she noted that they would have already experienced some of these days that were filled with many different emotions, the past student revealed that there were more challenges ahead.

“The best and worst days lie ahead of you,” she said.

“Receive both types with equal acceptance. There are no grave failures in life, only results; there are no true tragedies, only lessons; and there are really no problems, only opportunities to be transformed into solutions. Your journeys will be different. Some will be rockier than others, but you will all be faced with some form of adversity; there will be a life lesson in the experience. Embrace it for what it is: a part of life. Look back to learn the lesson and move forward. Be ever inspired by our school rule, Per Adua Ad Alta – Through Difficulties, to the Heights.”

The featured speaker noted that it was important for each girl to like the person that they will become and to this end, Samuel encouraged graduands to take charge of their happiness and to every day, work on bettering themselves.

To achieve this, Samuel, who was the GHS valedictorian in 1983, encouraged the graduating class to LIVE: L – Learn something new every day; I – Invest their time and energy wisely to garner great V – Values and to have different E – Experiences.

Acting headmistress Michele Beache also imparted words of wisdom to the graduating class, encouraging them to continue building their characters on faith in God and positive values.

Beache told them that they are responsible for the persons that they become in the future.

“As this is your day, several of you would receive prizes that you have earned throughout the past two years. Others would wish that they were not so engaged in clicking ‘like’ or ‘unfriend’ or LOL or getting the latest tweet or uploading photos on Instagram or sending ‘please call mes’ or changing your status,” she said.

“Whatever your status, you are what you have chosen to become. For five years, you have been enouraged to work hard, focus on what is important and avoid damaging behaviours or influences. You now leave our portals. We hope that something or someone may have impacted positively in your life so that in years to come, you can look back with some sense of gratitude to your alma mater.”

In a very humourous address, valedictorian Abigail Scott took her fellow graduands on a trip down memory lane, as she spoke about various adventures that they shared with one another in their five years at the all-girl institution.

She noted that they had all grown over the years and formed bonds that were bound to last a lifetime.

“Although I may not know all of you personally, when I look at you, two things come to mind: brilliance and beauty. Over the past few years, our appearances and attitudes may have changed, but one thing amongst us all remains unchanged, our uniform. It serves as a means of identification, yet a symbol of unity, binding us together in a sisterhood that we will always be a part of,” she said.

Scott, who took home subject awards for English A, English B, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, French, Geography, Mathematics and Information Technology, also received an award for being one of eight top prefects, as voted by the prefect body, a 2015 SOL award and the Prime Minister’s Award for the Student of the Year.

She encouraged the graduating class to always fight to achieve success, no matter the trials they may meet along the way.

“Be the epitome of success. There will be failures and setbacks along the way, but these do not determine our final destiny. They mould us and prevent us from making the same mistake twice,” the valedictorian said.

She also took the opportunity to express a heartfelt thank you to teachers and parents for sticking with them throughout the years with their unwavering support in all aspects of their lives.

Dozens of other awards were presented, including form prizes; 2015 SOL Awards; prizes for students who gained nine or more subject passes in the CSEC examinations of 2014 and special prizes and award for members of the 2014-2015 graduating class.

Among the graduates receiving special prizes and awards were Atyna Harry – the Allison Thomas Prize for the Most Improved Student; Jill Caine – the Rev Rita and Hubert Little Award for Perseverance; Akili Robertson – the Louise Haywood-Cambridge Award for Deportment; Justene Farrell – the Cheryl King Community Award, the Headmistress’s Award for Service to the School and the Norma Keizer Award for Leadership; Kimesha Browne – Dr Marguerite Rose’s Peer Mentoring Award; and the award donated by the Branch sisters for the student who best exemplifies the School Spirit – Tahleze Marksman. (BK)

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