‘Ebola Senior’ Graduates As Valedictorian At All-Girl School

‘Ebola Senior’ Graduates As Valedictorian At All-Girl School

Monrovia - Marshalyn Pappoe was out of words when her daughter, Angel Aboah, was honored as valedictorian of the graduating class of St. Teresa’s Convent Catholic School with a 93.8 average. Not only did Angel only receive the highest honor, she received four other awards: three academic awards, pioneer award and the quizzing award.

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“I am so happy and proud today that I feel like crying, because my daughter has achieved over four different awards, because it has not been easy,” said a gleeful Marshalyn Pappoe.

“I can say, Angel is a special child, because she does not walk about. After school she goes into her room and study. When she started the kindergarten, the class was too small for her, because she started to dux, until she got to the sixth grade.

When she dux the entire school, she was then given double promotion to the eighth grade, and since then, she has always been the first in her class.”

Ms. Pappoe said sending Angel to school was never easy as her (Angel’s) dad was in Ghana and unemployed. Hence, she resorted to selling biscuits and other goodies to pay her daughter’s tuition.

“Her father did not return until Angel was in the sixth grade, and then things began to improve with us. I am willing to send her to college, instead of allowing her brain to go to waste”, the proud mother said.

Angel formed part of the ‘Ebola Seniors’— students who were promoted to 12th grade but could not complete due the rampancy of the virus which killed over 4,000 Liberians. A total of 41 students, they formed part of 23 regular senior at the St. Teresa Convent, amounting to 64 and every one of them passed the WAEC exams.

“I feel very happy for these achievements and the secret to my achievements is hard studies, discipline and paying attention to my teachers,” said Angel Aboah, valedictorian for the St. Teresa’s Convent High School.

Angel, who said she started the school from kindergarten, said she was happy that her kindergarten teacher Ms. Jones, who taught her, survived the Ebola period, to see her receive the many awards.

“To my friends—I say to my friends out there—be careful with whom you associate with. Do not pay attention to too much social life or you will find yourself doing what you are not supposed to be doing. Study hard and get engaged into extra-curricular activities, like quizzing in the school.

I want do petroleum engineering, because not many women are in that field and I have the passion for the profession and I have the self confidence that I can do well in that area. My final words to my peers out there, is that whatever you intend to do in life; you should do it with all your strength and ability.”

Serving as guest speaker for the graduation exercise, Ms. Gwendolyn Myers, Head of Messengers for Peace and alumnae of the school, urged her incoming alumni to be prepared to meet many challenges ahead, saying they should remain focus as upcoming young women of Liberia.

“As girls, there will be other challenges, but our diversities should not be our weakness, but our strength. Be true to yourselves and refrain from activities and behavior that others and St. Teresa Convent will frown at,” said Ms. Myers.

She said Liberia is changing as a nation with a high level of corrupt practices, admonishing the graduates to remain focus and not be carried away by peer pressure, because Liberia needs young women who will stand in the vanguard for peace.

She said when she graduated in 2005,  she never dreamt about coming back to her Alma-Mater to serve as Guest Speaker, but it all happened because of the constant prayers her mother did for her to remain focus. 

“Mothers, always be very prayerful and get on your knees  on your children’s behalf, between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., instead of sleeping, because only 15 percent of our life’s achievements is based on what we achieved, while 85 percent is in the spiritual arena and must be battled spiritually.”

Ms. Myers then donated US$100 dollars to the school’s administration for a student to undertake a peace project, adding that she will continue to support the project for the next five years.