PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Education Silveria Jacobs offered words of encouragement to students departing for study overseas on Sunday, July 31. Some 34 students travelled to the Netherlands from Princess Juliana International Airport SXM.
“Life’s journey is always an adventure, a path filled with decisions and actions that affect the hills and valleys of success and challenges. As you students embark on a new step on your path of life I offer you words of encouragement, strength, courage and determination to persevere,” she told them.
The Ministry of Education received 182 requests for study financing this year, of which 124 were granted, 51 were denied and seven are pending.
Jacobs said many tiny steps had brought the students to this point with encouragement from parents, teachers, family and friends, or maybe despite lack of same yet they were there.
“As you embark on this next leg, remember to stay focused on your end goal while enjoying the journey. Always plan for the ‘what ifs’ and surround yourself with persons who can help you out of a dip. Never take anything or anyone for granted. Relationships are important. … Seek strong bonds with people who can help you forward or whom you can help forward,” she said.
The Airport hosted the customary farewell ceremony while parents, family, friends and supporters had the chance to see the students before they departed Sunday afternoon.
“Put God first, have faith He will see you through. Be confident and bold, represent yourself with the respect that you expect in return and your voice will be heard.
“Whether you are travelling to Europe, the USA, within the region or staying in St. Maarten, know that we at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports are here to help you on your way. Do remain in contact with us in order to receive the service you need. It is also your responsibility to stay informed,” Jacobs said.
She told the students that some might not be at this stage, while that had been the plan, and were contemplating their next move: do over, do something else, give up, go to work, and the list goes on. Giving up is not an option, she said.
“Seek a way over, around, research a new path or just try again. Work hard and push to the next level of your personal development. Nothing in life just falls in your lap; your faith, your actions and your prayers can influence them. Work hard, pray hard and take time to play. Life is a journey meant to savour, not a race to end quickly,” she said.
“Much success as you move on to the next level of your lives with new independence, new responsibilities, a renewed sense of purpose and the resolve to make the most of it. Every experience will serve to strengthen you, so use them as life lessons.
“Parents, you will continue to love and support them on this journey. Much success to you on this next leg as well. You should be very proud.”
The students were accompanied by two guidance counsellors. On arrival in the Netherlands they will be welcomed by Minister Plenipotentiary Henrietta Doran-York and will have lunch at Steigenberger Hotel, after which they will depart to their respective study cities. The orientation week of activities will close off with a workshop at the St. Maarten House in The Hague on August 5.
Source: Daily Herald
Minister Jacobs to students: Life’s journey is an adventure