President Ellen Johnson -Sirleaf has challenged graduates of the African Bible College University or ABCU in the Yekepa City of Nimba County to reach out and share their knowledge by mentoring and tutoring, creating active school programs and developing community service projects for the creation of safe and improved public places.
Delivering a keynote address at the ceremony on the ABCU Campus on Saturday, 6 May in Yekepa, Mrs. Sirleaf challenged the graduating class of 26 members to broaden their horizon wherever possible by seeking employment.
She says it will contribute to the processes of national healing and reconciliation, while urging them to find their place and use their talents in contributing to national development agenda to participate in the transformation of the country.
Mrs. Sirleaf told the graduates that they will be challenged to find their place in society in contributing to a nation that is facing the reality of the result of so many decades of dependency and indiscipline.
The President says she is aware that on such occasions like the graduation ceremony, it is bound to have high anticipation and expectation among the graduates who will be transitioning from the conformed environment of the classroom to the uncertain environment of the world. As such, she reminds the graduates that they will be entering the environment of a country burdened by the excesses of the past but lifted by the hope and promise of the future.
While expressing confidence in the graduates as being prepared to mount the pulpit, occupy an executive desk, establish a business, manage an educational institution, teach or pursue a political career, she however says the values that they have learnt will position them to the competitive and challenging job market that lies ahead of them.
Moreover, Mrs. Sirleaf admonished the graduates that they will be called to adapt to the greatest responsibility of a professional journey, the establishment of their personal goals, the requirement of active participation, the commitment to duty and a resolve to serve and serve honorably.
She reflected on the graduates’ commitment made in the past four years in the pursuit of knowledge which she says calls for determination, effort and persistence in the midst of difficulties and faith in the blessing of God. She argues that as much as emphasis is made on the urgent need for infrastructure, including roads, power, ports and schools, “our own national experience is clear” that lot of education is needed to manage these facilities or they will not last.
More importantly, she recognizes that quality education provides the basis for change in attitude and value. Mrs. Sirleaf was honored as member of the graduating class and awarded certificate by the ABCU. ABCU President Dr. David Beauchamp described President Sirleaf as the most transforming president in the last 100 years, and the most powerful woman in Africa when he was introducing her as the Commencement Speaker. The graduates took courses in various disciplines including social sciences, Biblical studies, English, Math and mass communication, among others.
By Winston W. Parley