REMARKS BY PREMIER OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
DR. THE HONOURABLE D. ORLANDO SMITH, OBE
H. LAVITY STOUTT COMMUNITY COLLEGE COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES PARAQUITA BAY
JUNE 9, 2016
ASPIRE TO HELP BUILD A BETTER BVI
Your Excellency the Governor, John S. Duncan, OBE, Distinguished Colleagues in the House of Assembly, Minister for Education and Culture, Honourable Myron V. Walwyn, President of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, Dr. Karl Dawson, Other Distinguished platform guests, 2016 Graduating Class, Faculty, Board members, Parents and well-wishers, Ladies and Gentlemen good afternoon:
CONGRATULATIONS to the 2016 graduating class of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. Today is your day!
Graduates, turn to your neighbor and say “Neighbor, we did it!”
The Territory is truly proud of all of you. As Premier, I am proud of you!
You have stayed true to your course, you have remained focused and today, you are reaping the rewards of your dedication.
Today, you are starting a new chapter of your life, and in a few moments each of you will turn your tassels and receive your diplomas and certificates.
Some of you will be pursuing further studies, while others will be entering or returning to the workforce.
As you plan your next step, I challenge you to ASPIRE to find ways to put your new degrees and certificates to work. ASPIRE to make a positive difference in the BVI and the world.
- Adopt an attitude of determination;
- Strategise for success;
- Pursue your passion as a career;
- Invest in others;
- Remember that every obstacle is an opportunity in disguise and;
- Empower yourself and others;
The BVI is developing by leaps and bounds as we take our place as a member of the global economy. To keep us there will require innovative thinking, determination and perseverance.
Develop your plan for success in the life you envision. Consider your opportunities in line with the educational foundation you have received from this institution.
Steer your course so that you can contribute to the development and growth of our Virgin Islands.
We know that education is the key to personal, professional, societal and economic success. This has long been the vision of our ancestors, and it still holds true today.
Use your knowledge and skills to help us to make progress together. Welcome the opportunity to learn from others.
Only by working together and sharing our resources, can we make the BVI an ideal place to live, work, visit and do business.
My Government has started to lay the foundation to deepen and broaden the economy.
It is now your job as our newest craftsmen to build upon this foundation. We need you to continue the legacy of innovation and creative thinking to contribute to all sectors and help our economy grow and expand.
The Government cannot do it alone. Only by working towards one mission, can all of us make progress together.
Graduates, study the BVI Business environment. Get creative to see where the opportunities are, and where your educational qualifications would be an asset – whether as an entrepreneur or as an employee.
In many of our existing fields, such as financial services, tourism and healthcare, there are many opportunities. It is for you to find your specialty and make a difference in the BVI and the world.
Parents, I encourage you to continue to guide your children as they move into the next stage of their lives. Support their choices and be the voice of wisdom, understanding and counsel when they need it.
I thank the Board and the faculty for guiding your learning experience.
I am also pleased that we are developing local capacity, and training our people so that they can become more actively involved in our progress as a Territory.
I know this is indeed a proud moment for the College with its first graduating class as an accredited institution.
I commend the Minister for Education and Culture, and the Ministry for seeing our tertiary system to this point. We can now stand proudly with the best academic institutions in the world!
May God bless each of you as you go forth. I am confident that you will do your best in all things and I look forward to seeing great things from you in the future.
Continue to make the BVI proud!