On August 5th, 32 girls graduated from Daraja Academy. We could not be more proud of them and want to share with you their graduation experience.
The night before graduation, the graduates shared final words with their fellow sisters. There were tears shed as they gave their final words of advice and appreciation to Daraja Academy students and faculty. The girls were sad to say goodbye to their home for the past four years, but you could also sense their excitement to spread their wings and fly. One student said, “Right now I just want to leap! If I stay here any longer I know that I will explode.”
On the morning of graduation the girls gathered for pictures in their caps and gowns. Family and friends mingled, sipping on tea and snacking on bananas and mandazi. Around 11am, the ceremony began with a prayer, raising of the flag, and singing of the Daraja anthem. The 32 graduates, dressed with cords indicating their academic status, entered to “Pomp and Circumstance” with excitement in their eyes, but solemn faces. The crowd stood in honor as the graduates made their way to the front rows.
There were many influential and eloquent speakers at the event, including Daraja students and faculty, local chief, and honored guests. Here are some powerful quotes:
Theresia (Board Member) – “We are delivering powerful girls to Kenya. Their minds and hearts have changed.”
Local Chief from Naibor – “Daraja is a country itself representing thirty-two different tribes. There is unity in supporting girls’ education.”
Carol (Transition Program Manager) – “All of these girls will be leaving today with a packet full of recommendation letters and certificates which demonstrates their work over the past five months.”
Alice (Student, Valedictorian) –“To my fellow graduates, Daraja has done its best, now it is time for us to shine. It is time for us to reach our goals. Our goals are within reach now. The world out there is waiting for us. I know we are powerful beyond measure.”
Maggie (Student, Salutatorian)- “To my teachers, I really take this opportunity to thank you so much. You have seen me through. We have exchanged jokes and rubbed shoulders. Throughout my time here you were always there for me. You have provided shoulders for me to lean on. My goal in this life is to help. Daraja Academy came to my rescue and I believe that each one of you can come to the rescue of one girl, one person in this life because that is the call of humanity. I am going to miss you all so much. May God bless you. ”
Victoria (Principal): “When we looked into your eyes in the interview you were already a conqueror. Daraja only built on what you had already inside of you.”