Graduates encouraged to get qualified

Cayman qualified professionals along with educators are imploring for young adults to get qualified.

It has been said time and time again to graduates the more education you get, the better it will make you more acceptable to employers, make good choices, change your attitude, identify your purpose and work hard if you are to succeed.

These empowering words were again reiterated by guest speaker Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay Hale to 11 students graduating from the Alternative Education Centre.

‘Yours is the generation poised to reap the benefit if only you’ll open your eyes to the myriad of possibilities that exist and pursue them. Never before in these Cayman Islands have the opportunities for young Caymanians to achieve success been greater,’ she said.

‘I am well aware that I am speaking to a group of students who have faced special challenges in the last year or so of your lives.

‘Some of you have had difficulties at home; many of you have had problems at school whether it was with learning or getting on with your peers or coping with the demands of the teaching staff. Some of you have been angry. As many of you have been sad. All of you have been hanging tough, unreachable, defiant, showing the world you don’t care.

Well, I am challenging you to care,’ said Mrs Ramsey-Hale. ‘I am challenging you to believe that you have a right to be here, a right to succeed, a right to be respected. I am challenging you to dream and dream big and not be afraid that somebody else might think that you shouldn’t be dreaming that dream. I am challenging you to not let your past define your future. You can’t change what happened yesterday but you can choose what will happen today. You can’t change other people or the world but you can change the way you react to both. Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality. Who cares what they think? It’s what you believe that counts,’ she said.

‘Negative self-image and negative self-talk is the greatest barrier to success. Sometimes the only difference between the man who succeeds and the man who doesn’t is that the one who succeeds believes he can.’

Mrs. Ramsay-Hale also said there was talk about the lack of opportunities for young Caymaninas but she said that was negative self-talk perpetuated by the media and some politicians. She said it breeds dissatisfaction not just among the youth but in the society at large.

‘If you are qualified you must succeed. If you have identified your purpose, you must succeed. If your efforts are equal to your desire for success, you must succeed. If you work hard and learn the lessons that failure teaches you, you must succeed. If you meet and exceed the expectations of your employer, you must succeed.

‘Your graduation is not the end, it is just the beginning. Now the business of life starts.

Valedictorian Jessica Woods had uplifting words for her peers.

‘High school experiences and struggles have shaped us into the individuals we are today. However, reality is about to catch up with us. To those students who are yet to graduate I say take heed.

‘We are poised to enter into the new world of the working class, independence, choices, reaping the consequences of decisions we make, buying stuff with our own hard earned money; something we really never understood or had to fully deal with before. We overcame the obstacles and struggles of the past year. We can now take that same determination and positive attitude to step into the next stage whether at the University College of Cayman, a college far from home, or into the field of work.’

Students graduating from Alternative Education Centre were: Jessica Woods, Student of the Year; Joshua Pars, Most Improved Student; Vanessa Bush, Best in Cosmetology; Siobhan Berry, Arek Ebanks, Michael Fernandez, Jerome Miller, Jordan Parsons, Charles Ebanks, Erica Flores and Tareek Ricketts.

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