President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has expressed delight after presenting diploma to student Fate B. Tapson, the son of a deceased journalist she had been supporting through high school over the years. President Sirleaf recalled that the late Liberian journalist Bobby Tapson in 2006 supported her, but died.
With Fate’s mother standing at President Sirleaf’s request in the midst of multitude at Ricks’ Washington Chapel Auditorium on Sunday, the Liberian leader reflected how the graduate told her in 2006 that the late journalist Bobby was everything the family had.
“Unfortunately, he died and the mother was left with Fate who was a young man … I went to his house to sympathize with his mother,” said President Sirleaf. At that occasion, the President said Fate just bent his head on her (President Sirleaf’s) kneel and spoke about his father Bobby Tapson as saying “He was everything we had.”
“And so today I’m so proud that Fate has gone through from where we took him to the place where he’s graduating today. And his father somewhere in Heaven can look down and say that’s his son in whom he’s well pleased,” she said. President Sirleaf thanked Ricks Institute principal Dr. Menjay and staff for responding to the Liberian Government’s call for quality education.
She graded Ricks as one of the leading high school institutions in the country, based on her observation of what is going on at Ricks, and what she has monitored and followed.
“…What they instill- the quality of their academic and the practical work and their discipline that they instill has so impress us that today we say Ricks is one of the leading high school institutions in the country,” she said.
She sponsors four other students at the Ricks Institute beside Tapson, saying it is based on the quality the institution instills in the students. President Sirleaf says she is supporting each of the students because each of them has a particular story.
“These students are more than students for whom I pay tuition; I consider them my grandchildren and we take care of them in that respect. But today is Fate’s day; their day will come when they come to be graduating also,” said President Sirleaf. The Ricks Institute graduated 41 high school students, among whom Fate Tapson, was a member.