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Pres. Weah, First Lady urge youths to utilize opportunities given them

By Lincoln G Peters
In separate remarks at the “Book before Boys’ Cohort 2 graduation ceremony over the weekend, President George Manneh Weah and First Lady Madam Clar Marie Weah encouraged youths across the country to make maximum use of opportunities given them, saying there will always be time to answer the hard questions.

According to President Weah, there is a level to achieve, but you have to prepare yourself by making use of the opportunity that comes your way.

Addressing the class of 100 females at the Monrovia City Hall, President Weah said if you don’t have an education you will be overlooked by your friends, noting that society today is after certificate.

“Young people should go to school and get a certificate because when the time comes they can be a successful businessman or political or administrative person,” President Weah said.

“There will come a time you will need an administrative position and these questions will come. I’m encouraging everyone, old or young to go to school and get educated. If an 80 – year – the old lady in the United States can get a high school certificate, you can do more,” President Weah cautioned the graduates.

He reflected on his school days saying when he got promoted to the 10th grade, he almost dropped from school.

However, he said he was helped by a friend who gave him scholarships to Muslim Congress when he went on the coconut plantation to work.

He said his friend encountered him and asked him what was happening, and he responded that his grandmother was broke and so he wanted to work and save some money for the next academic year.

President Weah disclosed that he made use of that opportunity up to 11th grade, and he later got another opportunity to play professional football for 18 years, becoming World Best, African Best, and European Best.

“After 18 years of professional football, between 39-40 years I made another sacrifice again to sit in class with kids in the United States where I completed high school to go on to get a master’s degree,” he added.

Delivering the Keynote address at the graduation ceremony, Liberia’s First Lady Madam Clar Marie Weah cautioned the graduates that only they can make possible the success story of their lives. She said nobody has that capacity to do it for them.

According to the First Lady, in order to do that, you must first be persistent and consistent in preparing yourself, so that you can take full advantage of the opportunities that may come your way.

“Preparation and opportunity are not enough on their own to ensure success. They must be combined with hard work or function.  If you have the opportunity, and you prepare yourself, and you are lazy, and you do not work or apply yourself in a functional manner, you will most likely fail, and your dream will not be fulfilled,” Madam Weah said.


“In anything you do, you have to work hard.  No matter what you know, or what you learn, if you do not put it into practice, then you will become practically dysfunctional,” the First Lady warned.

She however called on the graduating class to wake up and take control of their lives, adding that this is the 21st century, and you need to be members of a new society, a society of peace, diligence, of knowledge and expertise, of understanding, of respect, and of reverence. 

“You must be the young people that will inspire others in this 21st century,” she continued.

Using herself as an example, Madam Clara Weah noted she has encountered so many challenges in completing school, and she never gave up.

“When I started school as a young person in New York City, I didn’t have parents to help me through.  There were so many challenges and difficulties to overcome, I eventually had to do two jobs while going to school at the same time,” she said.

“At one point I had to stop going to school because the only way that I could survive was to work full time. So I had to put school aside,” Madam Weah explained.—Edited by Winston W. Parley

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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