On Friday, August 23 Daraja held our first ever graduation ceremony. The ceremony celebrated Daraja’s class of 2012 after their four years of secondary school curriculum at Daraja Academy, KCSE testing, and Transition Program this spring.
As Daraja’s campus filled with guests including families of the graduates and staff from Laikipia County’s education office, the 25 graduates got dressed in bright blue graduation caps and gowns. Many girls reported a mixture of excitement and nerves going into the ceremony.
“I am happy, but I am mostly nervous,” reported Faith, who gave a speech during the event as the class salutatorian.
The event began with Kenya’s National Anthem and a march by the graduates to the traditional pomp and circumstance tune. Many speakers took the stage including between the administration, educational officers for Laikipia County, and graduates.
“It was amazing to see our young adults work, I wish all of them excellence,” Carol, head of the Transition Program began the ceremony.
“This class is leaving a legacy,” reflected Jenni, co-founder, her voice shaking, “They have set the bar, and I am so grateful for them.”
Charles, the Dean of Academics encouraged the graduates to go back to improve communities while Principal Victoria spoke about the significance of the Women of Integrity, Strength and Hope class. “You are here because you believed you could, you can go the distance,” assured Victoria.
Betty and Faith, the top two girls in Daraja’s graduating class and Laikipia East District, gave remarks to their fellow graduates. Faith expressed:
“Today I am honored to stand before you and express my gratitude to Daraja Academy for watching me grow together with my 24 sisters to the extent that we have today. You have watched us grow from humble grounds. Right now we assure you that we have grown wings and we will fly even higher than you expect.”
The District Education Officer spoke as well. When addressing the graduates, he said, “What sets you apart from people not here [at Daraja] is that you have the right tools. When you leave, we expect you to enable others to face life’s challenges differently.” To the guests, he said, “We are seeing the transformation of part of a generation and it makes me very proud. “
Then came remarks from Jason, co-founder, where he advised graduates to find their passions. “You will fall, but what will help you get up is passion.” Next, the girls presented the administration and some staff with gifts of appreciation, and each crossed the stage to receive their certificates of completion of the Daraja curriculum and program.
With an atmosphere of pride and excitement, girls then moved their tassels and tossed their caps into the air as the first official Daraja Academy graduates.
The entire campus was involved in preparation for the ceremony, including even the herder for the campus cows, who herded the cows all night so they would be fed and quiet during the ceremony. Most of all, the hard work and undying passion of Daraja’s 25 graduates made the day a success.
See more photos from the event at: http://goo.gl/gWd5TA