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Shenika Samuel graduates, is valedictorian of class of 2017

Shenika Samuel graduates, is valedictorian of class of 2017

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Twelve years after graduating secondary school, Shenika Samuel fulfilled her dream of achievement and success by graduating and being selected valedictorian of the class of 2017 of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC).

Speaking at the graduation ceremony on Tuesday at the Victoria Park, Samuel, who was a student of the SVGCC Division of Technical and Vocational Education (DTVE), said when she graduated from the Troumaca Ontario Secondary School in 2004, she only had four O’Levels.

However, in the years after graduating secondary school, Shenika admits to living it up.

“Every pan knock, Shenika dey, dey,” she said.

“But during that time I also gained an additional four O’Levels, which took the count to eight,” Samuel disclosed.

The Petit Bordel resident added that in 2013, she gave birth to her daughter; however, despite having her ‘bundle of joy,’ she was slipping into a state of depression.

“I had a baby, but that was the only joy; nothing else was happening for me.”

One year later, in 2014, 10 years after graduating secondary school, she applied to the SVGCC and was awarded a place to read for an Associate’s degree in business, with a focus on accounting.

“Not knowing where my next dollar was coming from, I decided that come one day, I was going to make it to this state, graduation day,” Samuel explained.

She said during her time at the SVGCC DTVE, she had the support of her family and help from the Mustique Charitable Foundation.

Samuel thanked the dean of the DVTE, Osborne Bowens; deputy dean, Janelle Allen and all the lecturers who she said were her support system and that of her classmates, despite them being a difficult bunch.

“Thank you for the positive impacts you have had in our lives, for these past few years you were our mentors and confidantes. Your outstanding teaching skills and patience and genuine interest in our development have contributed greatly to our success stories…,” she said in her valedictory speech.

Samuel described her classmates as heroes.

“The ones who travelled from Fancy and Fitz- Hughes in the north and from the Grenadines in the south to get to class; the ones who played the roles of student by day and parent by night; the ones who were not as fortunate as those with supportive families; the ones who had financial difficulties, but never gave up. You are the true heroes.”

She encouraged her classmates to tackle the world one step at a time, create opportunities and be the persons that they would want other persons to be.(CM)

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