Hundreds of students from various high schools and universities here held an appreciation program on Friday, 4 August in honor of President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf for shouldering the responsibility in funding their education.
In various testimonials given during the event at the Monrovia City Hall, some beneficiaries of the Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf Scholarship Initiative narrated how the President took them from poor families, some from remote parts of Liberia and sent them to different learning institutions like Ricks Institute to acquire high school certificate before continuing on the scholarship to different universities.
Some of the president’s scholarship beneficiaries hailed from the African Methodist Episcopal University, United Methodist University, Cuttington University, Stella Maris Polytechnic, among others, One of the beneficiaries, Fate Bobby Tapson recalls how President Sirleaf vowed and committed to taking his responsibility following his father’s death while he still at a very young age.
He says after completing high school education at Ricks Institute, he enrolled at the United Methodist University where he currently undergoes his undergraduate studies. Another beneficiary, now an Assistant Information Minister for Cultural Affairs Ms. Joyce Kenkpen says for the past 11 years, the president has transformed the lives of many young people in Liberia by providing them the opportunities for capacity building, technical and vocational training and education, among others.
She says the President “did not just gave us the opportunity, but she also prepared us” to contribute to the kind of Liberia “we want”.Accounts were given by the president’s cultural troupe that says its members have attended various technical and vocational schools, as well as some visually impaired students that testified that they were six that graduated from Cuttington University on the president’s scholarship.
Mrs. Sirleaf thanked the scholarship beneficiaries for the appreciation, saying the level of appreciation given by the students brought tears to her eyes. “But more than that this tear is tear of joy,” she says, adding all of the students have excelled and have exceeded and come so far in their pursuit of education. “This cry I cry is a cry of joy for you, because I know what you went through, I know what some of your parents went through. I know there were days when you went to school and you didn’t have anything to eat,” she says.