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Pascal and her Dad at the graduation
Pascal and her Dad at the graduation

Stephanie Pascal, the valedictorian of the 15th commencement ceremony of the Dominica State College (DSC) has urged her fellow graduates to be "accountable for their actions" as they enter the world of work.

Pascal, who graduated summa cum laude from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of the DSC, said "today's world has become tainted with deceit, corruption and lies; therefore, the need for integrity is greater than before.

"To have integrity is to be honest and to showcase strong morals. Always keep true to your word because once people lose trust in you, it is hard to ever regain it," she said.

"We must also be accountable for our actions. Do not do anything in life just because you have to. Rather, do it because you want to or because that step will take you closer to achieving your goals. I believe that having a purpose helps us with accountability. So find your purpose, graduates, and may all your action reflect them. Most importantly, we must have respect; respect for yourself, God, your parents, peers and superiors," she said.

In her address, Pascal advised her fellow graduates to respect all classes of persons in society.

She said one must respect the person who may be inferior to you, academically, including the bus driver and also the cashier who will not remain a cashier all her life but will go on to get an MBA and become a branch manager of a leading financial institution on island.

She also asked the graduates to seek the Lord even more.

"We are nothing without our Heavenly Father because through him all things are possible. When life tries its best to derail you, you must simply let go and let God do the rest," she said.

She continued: "In addition to the support of God we get support elsewhere from family or friends and I wish to dispute the adage, that friends are detrimental to one's progress and development. Friends are more than acquaintances or a person you laugh and have a good time with. True friends are much like parents who believe in you and when you don't even believe in yourself. Not only that they want to see you succeed, but they take active steps to ensure that you do".

At the Commencement Ceremony held at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium on Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 a total of 327 students graduated.

Forty-four students graduated with one of the three levels of honors, summa cum laude (1st class), magna cum laude (2nd class), and cum laude (3rd class).

Pascal majored in mathematics, economics and physics; she earned honors in all three majors. In addition to her consistent academic performances, she participated in extracurricular activities on campus and showed extraordinary community spirit and leadership.

Dr. Vince Henderson, Ambassador of Dominica to the United States and the Permanent representative to the OAS in Washington DC was the keynote speaker at the function.