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MANDEVILLE — Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Grace McLean, is encouraging young people to use their energy creatively, and make a difference in their community and the wider society.

Delivering the keynote address at the graduation ceremony of Denbigh High School, in Clarendon, on June 29, Mrs. McLean said that adults need to help young people to use the knowledge and energy they possess, to impact themselves and the country in positive ways.

“Let me encourage you to think of the positive ways in which you can utilise your energy. Do not harbour evil thoughts, but think of ways that you can make a difference. Even when life throws the hard blows at you, brush them off, pick up the pieces and start again. Those of us who seem to be doing well today, it has not been without its struggles; things have not come easy, but through determination we have pulled through. So, if we can do it, you can do it too, and even better,” she told the graduates.

She urged the parents to assist the young ones, and to share experiences with them. “Let us not think that they do not need our guidance anymore, but let us continue to counsel and coach them, so they can take their rightful place in the society. There are numerous opportunities available in the country today, and as adults we have a responsibility to point these young people towards these various opportunities,” she said.

Mrs. McLean challenged the graduates to work hard at pursuing their dreams, and to read every day.

Valedictorian, Alecia Watson, who won five awards, including top Mathematics student, said they are all achievers.

“The accomplishment of your goals and dreams are only possible through dedication, passion and effort. Don’t ever become easily discouraged; believe in yourself and your dreams. Stay determined in the face of adversities, and never let fear hold you back,” she told her fellow students.

Meanwhile, graduate of the year, Michael Lewis, who also copped five awards,  told JIS News that  working hard at school had paid off.

“When I was growing up in Sunday school, I heard the story about the man getting one talent and burying it, so I decided not to bury any of my talents. I have received many talents from God, not one, not two, but many. If you have talent, whether it be one or two, don’t bury it,” he emphasised.

                   

By GARFIELD L. ANGUS, JIS Reporter