Graduates' future in their hands
Below are excerpts from the address by Senator Ruel Reid, minister of education, youth and information, at Jamaica College's graduation exercise recently.
School-leaving exercises and graduations are times of celebration and triumph. They mark the end of one phase of your life and the beginning of the next. I, therefore, congratulate you all on your educational experience and academic success.
Your parents have made many sacrifices in the last few years and provided you with the enabling environment at home, financial, and moral support, to help you through this phase. Yet, this is but one milestone in a long journey. How well you travel and where you go will be largely up to you.
You will always have supporters encouraging you along the way, but the journey will still be a lonely one, meaning that no one can walk it for you. As you move on, you will be presented with new opportunities to excel or challenges to overcome. There will be new forms of peer pressure. How well you navigate new routes will be dependent on your commitment to yourself and to a vision that is bigger than you.
Remember, too, that not every project or task we undertake can be successful - but when it is not successful, learn from the mistakes made, and take the necessary remedial measures on the next project.
Your academic journey is by no means over yet and you must be clear on what you want out of life and how you are going to get there. You will face many challenges, but this is what the real world is all about. The next phase in your life is a great training ground for your future success.