Dreams came true for 13 graduates receiving honours from the Alternative Education Centre/Transition Unit Friday morning.
Monica Boothe, Adrien Bush, Carlney Campbell, Jessie Connor, Justin Dixon, Nicholas Forbes, Aaron Hydes, Kristi McField, Paul Miller, Athena Miralda, Jasmine Ramos, Tiffany Wright and Luka Bodden were given another chance to excel despite the fact that they had misbehaved in high school.
‘When we arrived in September we were disappointed and frustrated and all the nice talk about relationships, respect and choices meant very little to us when we were not given freedom to do our own thing and have a good time,’ said Jasmine Ramos in her graduate address.
‘However, as time progressed, we found out it was our attitude and behaviour that mattered most, that respect for authority, the programme, fellow-students and ourselves made the difference.’
‘This was when relationships blossomed.
‘All students in the graduation class came to the Transition Unit, because of serious behaviour problems.
‘I am proud to say, that many of us, who are graduating here today; would be serving time at Eagle House, Fairbanks, and even Northward Prison if it was not for the good report that we achieved at the Transition Unit. Thanks to the justice system for recognising the positive changes in our lives,’ said Ms Ramos
‘Today our graduation has the sweetness of sugar,’ she said, but what really mattered was the passing of the University College Cayman Island entrance examination, which had the taste of milk and honey.
‘Graduates, this is a start and not the end for you,’ said Portfolio of Finance and Economics, revenue unit director Lee Ramoon in his address. ‘You all have overcome the obstacle of change and adapting, which brought you all here in the first place. You have crossed this hurdle by graduating with a diploma but I must remind you that this is only the beginning and not the end.’
Mr. Ramoon also challenged the graduates to take the next step in furthering their education at the University College of the Cayman Islands.
CAYS Educational Coordinator Michael Stewart told graduates they had demonstrated the will to succeed. ‘You are not losers. This is the end of a journey and the beginning of another. I am imploring you to make use of the opportunities that will come your way.’
Proud of graduates’ accomplishments Principal Raphael Daniels said that the Transition Unit this year has been very successful, with a wide variety of experience offered to the students.
He said he was proud to present 13 students who had satisfied the requirements for graduation and are ready to face the world of work prepared.
‘It is clear, from this year’s group how successful this programme can be. In 2003 we had seven students passing the university entrance exam this year as well as last year we had 100 per cent passes.’