Deputy Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas K. Peter Turnquest, Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama gave the 2019 graduating class of Sunland Baptist Academy some keys to future success under the theme, ‘The journey of A Thousand Miles Begins Today.’
Before a full audience of faculty, parents, guardians, family members and friends the class of 54 seniors from Sunland Baptist Academy received their high school diplomas, during the school’s 2019 Commencement Ceremony on Thursday (June 13) morning at Jubilee Cathedral.
The DPM first congratulated the graduates. “You have worked hard to earn your high school diploma, which according to the Minister of Education only 46 percent of your peers have done successfully this year.”
DPM Turnquest went on to speak to the ceremony’s theme. “This is a theme that speaks about your choices. Choices that have been made because you and your parents have invested in your education.”
He furthered that the theme also speaks to their future and the opportunities the graduates will seize.
Opportunity is not local it is global, said Turnquest. “We live in a global economy that is powered by technology, which means that you can live at home and work for clients across the world.”
He noted that the world is filled with dynamic opportunities for young people to take advantage of.
He also advised graduates that finding work is not just about getting a job. “You can be your boss today.”
Turnquest revealed that there are programmes at places like the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI), including the ‘Be Your Own Boss’ initiative and the Small Business Development Centre, which will help them to develop their own businesses, invest in their dreams and become successful entrepreneurs.
The DPM also told the students to never let money determine their progress. “Money is not an excuse.”
He added that there are various scholarships, grants and programmes that can assist them financially in their educational and professional endeavors.
DPM Turnquest also told the graduates that they can always accomplish their goals with patience, perseverance, and self-discipline.
“Few things happen overnight, they happen overtime so you have to be willing to put in the work with discipline patience and perseverance,” he added.
The DPM expressed to the graduates that this is the beginning of a new phase in their lives and they should grasp the moment and “wrestle it to success and victory.
“I want you to know that your presence here today is a symbol of your potential; it is a symbol of our hope and it means that you have something to offer your country that can shape this nation for the better,” he said.
Turnquest furthered that whatever path they choose they should keep in mind that there is a huge world waiting to make use of the talents they possess; the things that make them unique and invaluable in the eyes of God.
“In whichever way your passions lead you, God has a role for you to play,” he said.
The DPM finally assured the graduates that people believe in them and that they have support.
Principal of Sunland Baptist Academy Myrton King, also brought remarks during the ceremony. She commended the graduates on their accomplishments throughout their high school education and revealed that 24 of the graduates maintained 3.0 grade point averages for their last three years of high school.
Peterson Williams and Carissa Edgecombe Head Boy and Girl respectively, also gave a reflection on their time at Sunland and took the opportunity to thank their parents, teachers and administration.
They vowed to keep working hard and encouraged their fellow graduates to persevere in their tertiary education and future endeavors.
Senior Pastor Bishop Godfrey R. Williams and school CEO also thanked parents and teachers for their never-ending support.