CAY HILL–Ninety-four students graduated from National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA) during a ceremony held at Belair Community Center on Thursday evening.
Special awards were presented to several students, who topped their respective programmes, including Zoya Arrendell, who topped the Hospitality programme; Judith Emily Arrendell, who topped the Culinary programme and Jose Alberto Olea Gonzalez and Kharmain Hailey Boasman, who together topped the Maritime programme.
Topping the Information Communication Technology (ICT) programme was Colin Hopkinson, who was also honoured along with Social Pedagogic Worker 2 programme top student Carol James and the Social Pedagogic Worker 3 programme top student Verona Graham-Daley.
Special Awards were also given. The Overcoming Adversity Award was presented to Cencia Isaac and the Overcoming Obstacles Award was given to Lidia Lake.
In delivering the keynote address, National Alliance (NA) Member of Parliament (MP) Ardwell Irion told students if they ever get into a situation where they want to give up, they would do much better for themselves by saying “I can do this. I can make this happen and I can win.”
He told graduates, “Life is hard, but only the tough-minded will get somewhere. Everything you want in life is within your reach. But you have to empower yourself to reach out and grab it. There is no comfort in being comfortable. Comfort comes from the strength earned from growing through discomfort. Comfort comes by gaining strength from adversity. Comfort is self-confidence. Comfort comes from knowing that you have the will to do whatever it takes.”
He urged graduates to not hesitate to exercise their will and to remain determined to take the actions necessary to shape their life the way they want. “Remember, this is your life, not your parents, teachers, church authorities, neighbours, Minister of Education’s nor the Prime Minister’s. This is your life,” he said.
He spoke a bit about determination. “We all have it somewhere buried in our hearts. To me, determination and execution is the Holy Grail of building the life you’ve always wanted. It separates the achievers from those so-called dreamers, who are unwilling to take action. If you lack the determination and will, you get the leftovers of what life has to offer. Go out into this world of limitless possibilities and make determination your best friend.”
The MP said he had an opportunity to taste the delicacies prepared by NIPA students in the past, and “it was amazing and well prepared. The presentation was top class.”
He said NIPA is “an amazing facility” that is state-of-the-art, and he urges anyone who hasn’t yet seen it, to visit the establishment.
Adjunct Director Garfield Sargeant told students that graduation is a ceremony that serves as a rite of passage and acts as the end of the school experiences of one, two, and three, and for some four years. It serves to signal the beginning of the passage into the next step of life for graduates. “This evening, assembled in this hall are the many who not only recognise and identify with the sacrifices and challenges, the motivation and displays of strength, desire and commitment to success, but here this evening are those who have supported your journey and played a critical part in your achievement, and who stand with you the graduating class of 2017 in appreciation, recognition and celebration of your accomplishments.”
Sargeant told students there will be times in their lives when they will have to stick their neck out. “There will be challenges, and instead of hiding in a shell, you have to go out and meet them. I have, and I am sure for many of you here this evening can readily agree with this truism.”
He reminded graduates that great women and men continue to prove that one person can fundamentally change the world for the better. “For many, graduating from NIPA provides a springboard for success and you are our ambassadors, who can help inspire others to follow your footsteps in moving forward toward a bright future.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/67683-94-graduate-from-nipa