On Friday, October 16, Grace Emmanuel School had the opportunity to celebrate its fourth graduating class. Despite 7 months without school this year, the 18 students of the Class of 2020 were finally able to draw their high school studies to a close in a special way.
As is tradition, at the beginning of the year this class chose a name to commemorate their capstone year of study: Exquis, meaning “Exquisite.”
The theme carried through every part of the ceremony, including the special turquoise outfits donned by the 9 women and 9 men of the graduating class. The ceremony began with a special processional of the graduates, followed by singing the 3rd verse of Haiti’s national anthem, and finally greeting the audience with a beautiful welcome song.
The Exquisite class chose two “godfathers” and two “godmothers” to sponsor the event, men and women whom the class collectively viewed as special influences in their lives. Philosophy and French teacher, Shylo Forest, and Director of Pedagogy, Wilfrid Leconte, served as godfathers, and Iselande Dorisca, sponsorship director, and Wendy Pierre, student liaison, were godmothers.
All four of these honored guests gave moving and encouraging speeches. They congratulated the students and shared lots of good advice to help them traverse the new challenges that will arise on their life’s journeys. After the speeches, Iselande and Wendy presented gifts to the graduates on behalf of the ministry, and Roger, JiHM Director of Operations, and Andris Sanon, Director of Grace Emanuel School, presented medals and diplomas to the graduates.
Then it was time for the graduates to take the stage. Sadgi, Siliana and Smeralda dazzled the audience with a beautiful dance. Joseph Henry, Vice President of the 2020 class, gave a beautiful speech, thanking all the school administration, teachers, cooks, janitors, and security staff. He took his time thanking each of his comrades for the time they spent together.
Nadine shared a few words of farewell for her classmates, and her voice was full of sadness, and affection. Tears filled her eyes as she told her friends how much she loved them and they would always remain in her heart. Her speech brought many of the graduates to tears—and even their godfather Shylo.
As the ceremony ended and the students hugged and cheered, everyone could see the admiration, pride and joy in the hearts of every parent and friend who was present.
We want to take the time to thank every supporter and sponsor for all the good work done in each of these student’s lives, and for the continued help to all the other students at Grace Emmanuel School. Our words will not be enough to thank you. May God bless you!