Jason Solomons is a respected film critic on BBC News, Sky News and BBC Radio.
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Make meaningful change: NorthGate College gives heavy charge to graduating students
“If we have the opportunity to design, determine and ensure the future of our children, we want them to do something for society and humanity. We want them to make a difference. We want them to be the point of inflection, the point of change.”
Addressing the 2014 graduating class of NorthGate College (NGC), keynote speaker Ernest King underscored that education in its truest sense was designed not to produce certificates but to generate mature thinkers and global leaders who can positively impact society.
"Societal change and nations transformation can only occur through the development of a generation of enlightened, values-based leaders,” he said, echoing the sentiments of the school's co-chairman, Dr. Marlon Jameson, who had spoken moments before.
Jameson described the NorthGate graduation as a “point of hope” in a world where families, communities and nations are seeing their underpinning values fall apart.
“We speak words of destiny and encouragement into the students’ ears every day, and our hope is that they will join the ranks of those who fight bravely, after leaving the college, to uphold good standards, morals and ethics and demonstrate what a human being should be.”
Jameson was standing in for the school's chairman, Dr. Noel Woodroffe, President of Congress WBN.
NGC Director Yolande La Pierre outlined the strides the school had taken in the 2014 academic year, and reflected on the institution's outstanding leadership, dedicated staff and rich student life.
“It is truly a time when our children can dream, explore and refuse to be limited by their physical and geographic context.”
Inviting the audience of parents, friends of the college and graduands to journey with her through the past year, she cited the outstanding achievements, not only in academics, but also in sports, extra-curricular activities and national and international competitions in which students took part in 2013-2014. By the end of her presentation, her pride and confidence seemed well placed, as she said with utmost confidence, “Graduands, you are ready for your time.”
Taking his cue from the director, valedictorian Lyndell Byer said, “We are walking out of the tunnel and onto the field, we see the lights of dozens of cameras, we hear the cheers of hoards of fans. This is our time. This is our world. The future is ours.”
The sports analogy seemed apt, as Byer also captured the school's Sports award, along with the lion’s share of the academic prizes at the sixth form level, and the Business prize.
Nick Pascall received the Cecile Taylor community enhancement award for the preservation of the NorthGate culture. Other special awardees were sixth former and Head Boy, Joshua Thomas, who captured the Chairman’s Award, and fifth former Emaiya Hazelwood who took the esteemed NorthGate College award.
The Graduation and Awards Ceremony took place at the University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine on June 28.