“When it comes to pursuing your studies, while you must know what you want to be and how you plan to achieve it, the most important thing is to understand why you have made that career choice in the first place, and once you have a passion for what you are doing, you will go places you have never dreamed of.”
This advice came from motivational speaker, Joel Manning, as he addressed the 2018/19 cohort of students at the Barbados Community College as they began their academic pursuits during the college’s annual Student Convocation at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Manning, who hosts an Internet show called Cross Talk, told the students, “The only way you will build good school spirit is if you find value in what you are doing here. Your brand is who you are, when you recognize you are one of one, and there is greatness within you. Investing in your brand is how you work towards building yourself as a person. You are not going to want to participate, get good grades and do your schoolwork unless you value what you are doing.”
He also counselled parents to understand the role they play in shaping children’s mindset, even when they are not listening. “Remember that your job is to train up [children] in the way they should go, so that even if they take a wrong track, you will have done enough that when they are ready, they can revert to the correct path.”
The BCC is currently celebrating its 50th year in operation, and it was fitting that the convocation was held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, since according to Registrar Roger Worrell, and Principal Dr Cheryl Weekes, the college began life on that site. In his address, Worrell reminded the students, faculty, parents, ancillary staff and other well-wishers that, “Over 3,000 people apply to this campus every year; you represent some 1,500 of that number, so it is important that you make the most of the opportunities this institution will offer you.”
He advised students that the system at the college was completely different from what they would have experienced in secondary school, and they were free to seek counselling if they encountered any difficulties in adjusting to it.
Dr Weekes added that given Government’s recent decision to waive tuition fees for students pursuing Bachelor’s degrees, these students were expected to give back to their community. “There is no free lunch, so you must be committed to your studies, and once you are finished, give something back to the community. Not just this institution that has given so much to you, but the community as a whole.” The Registrar added that the BCC was presently working out details on the form such community service would take.
In conclusion, Dr Weekes told students, “Spend time in your studies so you can be successful, but enjoy yourself in the process. While studying, make learning fun, and once you do that, getting a Barbados Government Scholarship will not be difficult. And since you all are entering in the 50th year, I am sure we can get 50 scholarships to mark the anniversary – I know you all can do it!”