Going for the gold

Principal, Linda Archer presenting valedictorian Tyreke Goddard with his plaque for outstanding academic achievements.
Principal, Linda Archer presenting valedictorian Tyreke Goddard with his plaque for outstanding academic achievements.

“Where you go to school or where you live does not determine your success” — and the 2013 graduating class of the St. Mary’s Primary School had that messaged reinforced into their minds last week by a member of the Royal Barbados Police Force.

Sergeant Roland Cobbler, featured speaker for the graduation ceremony held at Solidarity House, advised the graduates to choose their friends wisely while working hard in school.

“I must warn you that as you transition from primary school to secondary school and unto the stage of your development which is referred to as adolescence you will encounter several challenges. It is important to note that how you confront these challenges determines your future — the choices you make will play a [pivotal] role in determining your success or failure. I am therefore of the view that your theme, Going for the Gold, provides the necessary foundation to guide you on your path to success,” Cobbler said.

He added that they must see the theme and personalise it.

However, Cobbler spoke of his concern at the increasing number of juvenile delinquents from all of the secondary schools encountered on a daily basis.

“My concerns are increased by the fact that research clearly shows that adolescents who are engaged in delinquent behaviour, which may include bullying, stealing and disrespect [to teachers and other students] as well as drug use are likely to become involved in crime as they grow older. I am therefore challenging you to make a difference so that you can positively contribute to the development of our country,” he added.

The lawman reminded the graduates to choose their friends wisely because of the fact that friends can make or break a person. He told them to associate themselves with persons who can influence them positively.

To the parents Cobbler said, that behind every successful child is a supportive parent and reiterated the fact that they had important roles to play in the lives of their children.

“Be involved in everything they do, know their friends, the places they go and most importantly have a relationship with the teachers of their schools. Support them in the careers they choose and create the environment which will assist them in achieving their goals,” he stated.

The graduates were told to take comfort in the fact that people develop at different stages in their lives, and further advised that instead of skipping classes at their new schools they should work hard for the knowledge that will give them power.

“In going for the gold I want you to set goals, decide from early what you want to achieve. Having set those goals attach value to them. Why are these goals so important? Then visualize these goals — don’t just keep them in your head, write them on a piece of paper so you can see them every day and be reminded of what you are working to achieve. One of the greatest joys in life is accomplishment.” (MR)

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