The Spring 2017 graduating class of the Dominica State College has been told to be proud of their achievements while remaining humble.
This advice came from Dominica’s Ambassador to the United States of America and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) Dr. Vince Henderson, who delivered the keynote address at the DSC’s fifteenth commencement ceremony on Wednesday July 12 2017 at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium.
Dr. Henderson, who told the class he was not going to give them any words of wisdom such as “reach for the sky, be all you can be”, simply congratulated them, their family members and faculty members for a job well done.
He said it was with a “sense of pride” that he addressed the graduants as they have worked hard and made the necessary sacrifices in order to celebrate at the ceremony.
He further commended them for their commitment to personal development and for striving to build better Dominica.
“Wear your achievements proudly, but above all wear them with humility,” he advised.
“Let your achievements speak for themselves, be not boastful, go out and give your best to yourself, to your family, to your community, to Dominica, to the region and to the world.”
Meanwhile Dr Henderson said, “For many of us here today, growing up like me in the ghetto in rural communities we have had to overcome tremendous challenges to get here but thank God we are here today.”
He therefore urged them to make this “just another milestone” in their life’s journey as “this is not the end”, telling them they should strive for more, work hard to achieve their full potential.
“But sometimes the biggest obstacle in our lives, you know who it is? It’s us. So don’t let yourself get in the way of your own personal development,” Dr. Henderson stated.
He added that Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit did not let anything stop him when he decided to embark on the creation and opening of the Dominica State College in 2002.
“Today you are here because of that bold initiative and today we are proud of the Dominica State College,” he said.
After giving his life’s story Dr. Henderson said “Where there is a will there is a way,” adding “But class of 2017 it doesn’t happen just like that you have to work hard, you have to strive, you have to be willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve what you want to achieve and that’s the message I want to leave with you this afternoon.”
Forty-four students graduated with one of the three levels of honors, Summa Cum Laude (1st Class Honors), Magna Cum Laude (2nd Class Honors), and Cum Laude (3rd Class Honors).
Stephanie Pascal, who majored in Mathematics, Economics and Physics, emerged as Valedictorian of the graduating class, with Summa Cum Laude honors.
She was selected for her consistent academic performance, her participation in extracurricular activities and co-curricular activities on campus, as well as community spirit and service leadership.
Stephanie, who obtained ten ones and one grade two at the 2015 CXC examinations, also received the Valedictorian, Economics and Mathematics Awards.
Shania Scotland, who majored in Geography, and graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors, received the Highest Academic Award, for the student with the highest-grade point average in the graduating class.
She also received the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Award, as well as an award for Geography.
Rael Felix received the Faculty Award and the award for Mechanical Engineering, while Sophillia Hilaire received the Faculty of Education Award. Sports Personality of the Year went to Romelcia Phillip.
The Club of the Year Award went to the Literary and Debating Society.
Phael Lander received the Special Award for Volunteerism, Leadership, and Community Spirit.
Tresha Jacob picked up the award for English, Kyra-Akilah Richards received the award for Chemistry and Physics, Chrisline Tavernier took home the award for Mass Communications, while Terrick King took home the award fir Electrical Engineering Technology.
The Tourism Award went to Blondelle George, while the Paralegal Studies award went to Janae Jackson.