After delays from Liberia’s election, we decided to hold the commencement ceremony of our sixth cohort on Saturday, November 4, 2023. First, Thank student Pearl Clarke for decorating our center for the graduation.

Over the past year, we faced many challenges in recruiting and maintaining students for the 2022/2023 class. As we shared, many candidates decided to start temporary vocational training programs to garner votes from young people. Other students and staff members left to participate in the political process. While this is our third presidential election, this was the first that directly impacted our programming. 

With that being said, this year’s commencement celebrated 20 graduates, our lowest turnout since we started. The size did not deter our team from giving them the best program to recognize their success. First, our academic students provide entertainment, such as dancing and singing songs. Next, Kelvin, two instructors–Augustus and Emmanuel, and a parent gave remarks congratulating and encouraging them as they started their career journey. Finally, each student received their diplomas.

We uploaded several videos from the ceremony to our YouTube Channel. Below is a list of videos and highlights of what they are about. When you play them on YouTube, you can read the description for more information. Also, we wanted to feature the grand march of the graduates. 

We like to present the Uniting Distant Star 6th Cohort Graduates. They all received a diploma today in their respective trade course. This is their grand march to start the program. Congrats!

Graduation Entertain Featuring Phanlyn Angel Queedor – 11/4/23. Phanlyn Angel Queedor, 10th Grade Student, danced for the graduates.

Graduation Entertain Featuring Adea Zenkeapah – 11/4/23. Adea Zenkeapah, a 9th Grade Student, sang to the graduates. She is a newer UDS Academy Student.

Graduation Entertain Featuring Benetta Dahn – 11/4/23. Benetta Dahn. She is a 10th grader and will take one of our vocational training courses this year.

Augustus Appleton, UDS Satellite TV & Solar Installation Instructor -11/4/23. August talks about young women learning how to install solar., Then he encourages parents to have their students come to the school to learn a trade skill.

Emmanuel Duwah, UDS Cosmetology Instructor and Chelsea Fan For Life – 11/4/23.Emmanuel talks about one of his students, Janet Johnson, who also took an electrician course, climbing up poles.

UDS Vocational Training Parent Gives His Remarks During 6th Cohort Graduation – 11/4/23. He first thanked everyone and then talked about the importance of vocational training. He then stressed the importance of building a network. Finally, he ended with, “As you venture into the world of real work, I want you to go out there and shine and let the sky be luminous.”