JCTHS Graduating Class 2014
June 14, 2014
Thank you so much Bro. John Palacio, our able Master of Ceremony for this momentous occasion.
Good morning to the Government representatives in attendance starting with the District education manager Dr. Carmen Jane Lopez Avila, Mr. Floyd G. Lino the District education officer and the other members of the district education office who are here. My salutations also go to the Chairman of the Board of Governors of Julian Cho Technical High School Mr. Madonio Cal and other board members, the Acting Principal Dr. Kent Leo Arzu, VPSS Mr. Winston Gregory Lopez, Acting VPA Mr. Ray Coleman, HODs, graduating students, parents, teachers, invited guests, ladies and gentlemen.
It gives me great pleasure to have been invited by these graduating students, the class of 2014, to come here to deliver the key note address for their commencement exercise. Thank you so much for the honour. I am really humbled, privileged and grateful for this opportunity. I see this occasion as a gathering of family members who are rejoicing with their future leaders for having reached a mile stone in their lives. This commencement exercise, as I see, it is an occasion for sharing and learning from one another. I am one of the few who has traversed the length and breadth of the Toledo District as an agriculture extension officer before I travelled to the United States to study. Upon my return to Belize, I started teaching at this very High School.
It was while I was here teaching Business and English at this School that I had the privilege to become the first Ombudsman of Belize hailing from the beautiful Toledo District. This is my home and to tell you that am happy to be here will be an understatement.
Today my focus of discussion albeit a one way discussion, with YOU the graduating students of the class of 2014 of this great High School. This is a School where all stake holders consisting of teachers, staff, parents and board members consider themselves a family unit. It is neither an overstatement nor a hyperbole to state that this is a great school indeed. To know this, one needs to look at the short history of the school and juxtapose it with the long list of the school’s accomplishments.
Graduating students, permit me to talk straight with you. It is a sincere endeavour to say the truth to one another especially in a family gathering such as this. It is better to hear the truth instead of a litany of sugar coated sentences. Why is it important to be honest with each other? If you listen carefully you will find out the answer as I continue my discussion with you. The school environment in which you have spent most of your time for the last four years is a clean one, a pristine one, there are school rules, teachers look out for students who are hungry, and organize remedial classes for students who are struggling. The Counsellor and Vice Principal Students Services ensure there is no bullying occurring on this campus. Graduating students, that is the school life that you are about to leave behind. The school life is crystalline in a way and sometimes seems unreal. The real world is not run on a school time table and it could be as gentle as a dove and tough like the wilderness of the jungle/forest. Some of you will find yourselves in the labour market and others in a different school setting. Your success depends on your level of preparedness. You chose a theme rooted in success which states that, “SUCCESS CAN BE ACHIEVED THROUGH THE APPLICATION OF WHAT YOU LEARN”.
All of you have successfully finished your high school education. I believe that your SUCCESS IS BY CHOICE, NOT BY ACCIDENT. In whatever you do put God first.
Do not be in the rank of those who believe that it is cool not to believe in God; in fact the coolest thing is to believe in the Almighty God. Let me point out what your graduation theme has in common with the Belizean national prayer. A part of the national prayer talks “about the increase of industry, sobriety and useful knowledge” The word knowledge is mentioned twice in our national prayer and useful knowledge to me implies the knowledge which when applied leads to success. The first step is to walk with God.
Francis Bacon said, “Knowledge is power.” Continue to seek knowledge through experience. Remember that you become a lifelong learner if you continue to seek knowledge. Nobody ever graduated from the school of experience. Do not pretend to know everything nobody does. Seek advice and useful knowledge for self-development.
Give back and help your family and the community. Remember your school (JCTHS) and do not look down on the less fortunate. Do not allow your success to get into your head and you forget where you come from. Out of whatever you earn remember your obligation to your parents. Your parents did not abandon you when you were young and helpless; do not abandon them in their old age. Avoid spending money on drinks while your family is in need. Do not act out under the influence of intoxicants because the outside world could be unforgiving.
Remember not to give any excuses but work hard for success. I grew up as a poor boy in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District just like most of you are. I did not wait for manna to fall from the sky. But rather I worked very hard to improve myself in life. None of you can tell me anything about poverty because I know its very surname.
Through hard work and dedication and of course humility and the grace of God, I am the Ombudsman of Belize. If I can achieve this then any one of you can be anything you want to be in life. Nobody but you can stop you from achieving your goals in life.
Graduating students if you do not remember anything that I have said today, please remember these:
1. Do not forget your Mom and Dad, do not abandon them
2. Remember to give back, To whom much is given, much is expected
3. Be smart and humble, do not let success get into your head
Thank you once again for this opportunity and I wish you the best in life, may the spirit of abundance seek and abode in each one of your soul. May God continue to watch over you and keep you in his wisdom. You all are truly a blessing to behold.
I also want to wish all fathers Happy FATHERS DAY in advance!!!!!!!!!!!!
ONCE AGAIN MY SINCEREST THANKS, Tank unu, Seremein, Garcias a todos, Toe hoe cre, Botik!!!!!!