Full Text: Valedictorian Address by Mr. Beryl Agbesi, graduate of the College of Education Studies.

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Mr. Beryl Agbesi – from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Education – was the valedictorian for the 3rd Session of the 56th Congregation held for graduands of the College of Education Studies.

Mr. Beryl Agbesi, Valedictorian (College of Education Studies)

Photo Credit: University of Cape Coast

Six key facts about Mr. Agbesi

• Born 24 June 1992

Hails from Hohoe in the Volta Region

• Attended Bishop Herman College , Kpando, and completed in 2012

• Studied B.Ed Arts (English) at UCC

• Graduated with 3.956 CGPA

• Devout member of the Church of Pentecost

Below is the full valedictory address delivered by Mr. Agbesi.

“I was on the verge of giving up on education but little did I know a better plan was in store for me. Seven years later, I found myself at the University of Cape Coast. The number one University in Ghana and West Africa.

Thomas Edison once said, “our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always try just one more time”. These words have been a reminder to me that success is not a one-time endeavor. It requires repeated efforts and resilience.

In the face of adversity, I have always kept pushing forward knowing that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Though my initial dream of pursuing law was altered. I discovered a new passion in teaching. Today, I stand proud as a teacher. And I confidently smile over the fact that though my initial application to this revered University fell through, here I am today before this dignified gathering delivering the valedictory address.

I stand before you not as the most brilliant student. But someone who prioritized and made academic success a top priority. I was critical, inquisitive, and sought knowledge by asking relevant questions during lectures. This commitment occasionally challenged the pace of some lecturers, but it did not deter me from pursuing excellence.

Also, I joined a vibrant study group on campus known as the “Hungry for Success” Group. I made a deliberate attempt to always be present at meetings and to contribute meaningfully to discussions. I also sought help from my colleagues when necessary. All these have fashioned me into what I am today.

My father’s words, “hard work breaks no bone” became my guiding principle throughout my four-year journey in UCC. To keep me afloat, while I was in UCC I came out with the phrase “to the Pleroma” which became my mantra, and I drew inspiration from this phrase as it always made me conscious of why I was in school.

Now to my fellow graduands, we have shaken hands with success, live our dreams and today we bask in the glory of our accomplishment. The past four years have been tough with early morning quizzes, shuttle struggles, financial hardships, and tight assignment deadlines. Yet here we are celebrating our triumphs.

As we step into the world of work, let us remember the words of our school anthem. “We are the teachers of the nation. We learn to teach. We find out and pass on”. Indeed, we are the teachers of the nation. We have learned to teach, found out, and we are about to pass on our knowledge to the outside world.

Let us not rest on our laurels but strive to be true ambassadors of UCC wherever we find ourselves. The college of Education Studies has been a nurturing ground for personal growth and globally oriented education. I am particularly grateful for the Reef Scholars program, a collaboration between the University of Cape Coast and Michigan State University which afforded me and eight (8) of my colleagues the real opportunity to travel to Michigan State University in USA to understand how teaching and learning is done in the American context.

This program provided me with invaluable experiences, and I extend my heartfelt thanks to Prof. Ernest Kofi Davis, the Provost of the College of Education Studies, Dr. Fosanto, Dr. Rita Hom Ajoviye and the faculty members from the Michigan State University.

Colleague graduands, we have been motivated by our lecturers who in their dedicated commitment to work has turned us into illustrious men and women. It therefore beholds us to transform us face the knowledge, the skills, and the competencies that we have acquired. Let us roll up our sleeves. We are change agents.

As teachers, we must not Rennich on our commitment to transform our societies. Because we are born to make positive impacts in the lives of humanity.

Fellow graduands, as we prepare to experience the outside world, let us not forget the fact that now it is not about the certificate of our status. Rather, the satisfaction from having the material evidence of our precious knowledge and academic excellence gained in the years of study in the University. Let us not bury our talents but make optimum use of them to project the image of our beloved alma mater and Ghana as a whole.

Let me remind you, colleague graduands, let no not wait for opportunities to be created for us. We must challenge ourselves with the knowledge and skills we have acquired from this institution to create such opportunities for ourselves. Even though it is challenging. We must use the entrepreneurial skills we have acquired to create jobs for ourselves. Even when there is none.

In all, no one achieves success without the help of others. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who has supported us in this transformative journey. Our families, the college managements, deans, heads of departments, and all lecturers.

Special thanks to my parents, Mr. Clement Agbesi and Mrs. Hannah Agbesi for their unflinching spiritual and financial support throughout my four-year journey in UCC. Also, I owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Alina Awuno Aziaku, Dr. Eric Mensa, Dr. Francis Taburi, Mr. Emmanuel Atichu, Mr. Mivheal Tetteh, Mr. Ishmael Nikwe, Mr. Festus Enu, my colleague Reef Scholars, to you members of the Hungry for Success study group. The memoreis that we have shared will forever linger on my mind.

To you all, I say Akpe.

Congratulations to us all once again. With compassion in our hearts and strength in our feet, we shall cave a better future.

Long live the Department of Arts Education. Long live the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Education. Long live the college of Education Studies. Long live UCC and Long Live mother Ghana.

Thank you.

Text compiled by Bismark Nwiah-Kwofie (Sir Bismark)

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