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“Claim Your Space”
-Dr. Jayjay Urges Graduates

By Bill W. Cooper
The Deputy vice president for Academic Affairs at the Cuttington University School of Graduate and Professional Studies, Roosevelt Gasolin Jayjay, has urged graduates of the St. Augustine Episcopal High School to recognize their potentials and claim their space in life.
“In order to take up your space in life, you have to be willing to claim your space in the world. You have to also recognize that you have a voice, an opinion, needs, wants and desires that all matters and equal to those of anyone else in this world, because Liberia now depends on you for solution the most,” he said.
Dr. Jayjay made the call when he served as the Guest Speaker during a program marking the institution’s 52nd Graduation and Awards Ceremony, in Kakata City, Margibi County; which also coincided with his 50th year since his own graduation on December 5, 1972.
The St. Augustine Episcopal High School has since 1956, impacted the educational sojourn of many prominent Liberians who have and are still contributing immensely to the development, growth and rebuilding process of Liberia.
The academic 2020/2021 which was called the Class of Vicemus started with the total of 166 students divided into two sections (Art/ Science) and that number comprised of 89 males and 77 females.
Interestingly, of all 166 who were registered for the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Exam (WASSCE), WASSCE recorded 162 in attendance and that number passed all requirements set by that examining body and the Ministry of Education.
The St. Augustine Episcopal High School which has approximately 500 students to date is well-known throughout Kakata City and Margibi County; yea Liberia, for its academic excellence, with the latest being the performance of the institution’s students at the just ended WASSCE, which is unprecedented.
According to Dr. Jayjay, Liberia is going through a crisis, while its citizens are also going through what he described as ‘mental situation’ that led them not to understand Liberia as their country and their responsibilities to do what they ought to do and ensure that Liberia lives.
He stressed, “As Liberians, we must not incessantly pursue a pathway of blaming President Weah, Speaker Chambers or Chief Justice Korkpor for our national maladies, while we ourselves go into deep slumbers and expect others to do for us, what we should do for ourselves.”
He exclaimed that it is saddening to see Liberians buying into the psychology and philosophy of other countries, while they do away with those things, they as citizens require, as means to improve, develop, make stable and livable for the national survivability or existence of all Liberians.
The St. Augustine alumnus asserted that the time has now come for Liberians themselves to take the ‘Bull by the Horns’ and ensure that they become a help and asset to the rebuilding process and uplifting of Liberia to be on par with other members of the comity of nations.
Dr. Jayjay added, “Though there are Liberians who are doing qualitative things, but if all of us claim our spaces as Liberians, we will think and do things more positively and become greater holistic change makers. We all irrespective of our political or religious affiliations, and even those that are out of the country, need to, one way or the other contribute to the social economic development of this country.”
He further stated, “So it is time that we, as Liberians get ourselves involved in doing those qualitative things that need to be done and ensure that the nation survives. So, as you graduate today, I want you to reflect and find those things you can do as Liberians and be a help to this country’s rebuilding process.”
Meanwhile, the St. Augustine Alumnus encouraged the current Government, to continue on its effective track, of improving the enabling environment, to ensure that Liberians succeed in all subsectors. He echoed that the Government must not give up on its constitutional responsibilities of ensuring that Liberians are strengthened to claim their spaces for the success of the nation.
In a related development, Dr. Jayjay along with the St. Augustine Episcopal High School’s first graduate and Dux of the Class of 1969, Scientist John Christopher Nylander, on behalf of the Alumni Association of the school, raised and presented to the institution an amount of LD304, 000 as means to improve and upgrade the institution to face the challenges and demands in the educational environment.
Presenting the check to the Principal, Abe Kortu Kekula, they stressed that an amount of L$200,000 will be used initially for the renovation and remodeling of the school before its new academic year; and that L $104,000 will be put in escrow for the sole purpose of helping to construct a Science and Technology Annex, including a Laboratory and Computer Facility for the School, to be launched on the School’s Gala Day, May 26, 2022.
Earlier, the Valedictorian, Melvin Flomo, speaking on the topic “Life After High School” cautioned his fellow graduates to believe themselves so that they can challenge the life that awaits them after high school in order to fulfill their dreams.
“Let us be the best that we can be that we may fill our lives of those closest to us with happiness and with pride. We have already taken the first step by making it to this ceremony today; it is time to take the next steps in the journey; that is; our lives begin to build our future,” he added.
Valedictorian Flomo further stated, “The road that lies ahead won’t be easy. There will be obstacles and missed steps, potholes and road blocks. There will be times when each of us will feel like we cannot possibly go on. There will be times when each of us will think he or she is alone, a back against the will.”
“But we are not alone. We are all in this journey together. We have made it this far-why should we back out now? Nothing worthwhile is easy, and that includes making the most out of our future. But that doesn’t mean we give up on ourselves. We will keep pushing because we know we can strive to achieve our dreams because we’re worth it,” he averred.

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