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116th AA anniversary: Speech from the DC Metro chapter president

7 October 2020 at 23:04 | 811 views

Good day fellow alumni, friends and family celebrating with us from around the globe.

Who would have thought that our 116th anniversary celebration was going to be virtual? I never expected this. I hope however that wherever you are viewing this service from, you are surrounded by people you love, and people who recognize your true love for your alma mater!

Again, Welcome, to this day of celebration. The Albert Academy is celebrating its landmark 116th anniversary in 2020. Congratulations to all of us… And BRAVO!!!
The theme of my message is simple: You are amazing! As an alumna, I have always believed that with great challenge comes great opportunity. The thing that has struck me the most is this second family feeling that I get with my fellow alumni and mostly my current executive. Just like my home family, I think about my second family daily. I want to know how you all are doing and what I can do to help. Hardly a day goes by that I do not think of our seniors among us and those of us who have stretched out to help during the peak of these difficult times.

In my quiet moments I do echo their pain and stories shared when I visit with each of them, as I bring them groceries, extending love, and letting them know their second family the Albert Academy Alumni Association DC Metro Chapter cares. I know everyone else is aware of what family does for one another! The human spirit is strong, and we will get through this, and will come out stronger and more resilient on the other side. United We Stand… “ONE AA, ONE VISION”. As an association, we have worked hard and fought through challenges, but have always been able to find common ground in the interest of the school we all love so well. I feel tremendously blessed for the privilege to work with some of the most amazing people you can find in any association.

VICE PRESIDENT: Pastor Plummer Bailor
SECRETARY GENERAL: Mrs Esther Caesar
ASST SEC GENERAL: Mr. Kellie Conteh
TREASURER: Mr. Alie Humpha Sheriff
ASST TREASURER: Mr. Alhaji Sununu Bah
SOCIAL SECRETARY: Mrs. Sia SHO-Gborie Brown
ASST SOCIAL SECRETARY: Mr Unisa Mansaray (aka: Dying Man)
AUDITOR: Mr Winston Godwin
CHAPLAIN: Bishop Abdul K. Nabie
Membership Committee Chair: Mr. Adrian Halloway
Bylaws Committee Chair: Mr. Winston Godwin
Event Committee Chair: Mr. Tom Walter Deigh
Hospitality Committee Chair: Pastor Ken Touré

With great pride and humility, I want to thank my executive and committee members for their selflessness. Alumni, members of this association, and even friends have told me that this is the first time in the last 2 decades that there is noticeably less stress on the president and more commitment from the executive. I cannot thank you enough for your dedication and teamwork!

I am extremely proud of the way we have tackled these challenging times, while supporting our students. Whether it was raising funds to help cover expenses for the teachers or helping to defray the cost of masks for the entire student population, we rose to the call as true sons and daughters. Our students at the Albert Academy continue to be amazing individuals who are committed to our mission, dedicated to their studies, with a goal of becoming contributing members of the community at large. We are proud of the resilience they have shown with sometimes limited resources, and especially during this pandemic with all its uncertainties. They have proved indeed that they like us are A.A. (ABOVE ALL).

In times of crisis, true leaders emerge. Those who are willing to put others before self. I know this is who we are, and I could not be prouder to call myself a 2nd generation ACADEMICIAN. This pandemic has changed lifestyles drastically. Together with our teachers, this pandemic has confronted us with an unrelenting stream of painful and unsatisfactory choices. On the one hand, personal engagement is important to teaching and learning. On the other hand, personal proximity enables the transmission of the COVID infection. This dilemma permeates nearly every imaginable aspect of our school and our classrooms. It is not easy!
As a chapter, we love to gather around. We have a fierce desire to come together as we fight to make the AA a better institution and the world a better place. We have always been able to take inspiration and comfort from one another; but coming together is precisely what we cannot do at this time. We have stepped up in amazing ways to support our alma mater and ourselves, despite all we are dealing with. We understand all of us are facing difficulties with changing situations in our lives, outside of our alumni responsibilities. Fortunately, our remarkable alumni community is finding many ways to interact, draw upon one another’s spirit, and build solidarity without proximity. Eventually, we will embrace again in person and celebrate the bonds that unite us as one AAAADC family. In the meantime, I am confident that AKAMORIANS everywhere will continue to do the small things that make a difference in our students’ lives to promote their academic achievement with pride and hope with one accord. All of us have made and kept commitments especially during these difficult times, proving over and again that YOU ARE AMAZING!!!

We must continue to invest in our students and seek to enhance their educational experiences, both in and outside the classroom. Education does not stop at the classroom door or when they leave the Albert Academy’s glorious creative grounds. Rather, it extends profoundly into their co-curricular life. We need to make sure the Albert Academy’s curriculum and their social lives are organized to contribute meaningfully to their growth and development and play the fullness of their potential as leaders and shapers of society through this 21st century. We want them to leave the Albert Academy with the sure knowledge that they were educated not to extract value, but rather to add value to human society.

We must invest in the staff and administrators; whose work enhances academic excellence. They are equally committed to ensuring that the Albert Academy provides its students with a first-rate educational experience. They support the school in countless ways daily with their important work.

Today, I urge all ACADEMICIANS AROUND THE GLOBE to raise the bar high and seek the most noble of our aspirations with common purpose and common hope for our alma mater. Let us occupy with confidence and hopefulness bringing the Albert Academy back to its glorious days. Let us be dynamic and forward thinking, not only distinctive but distinguished, not only excellent but extraordinary.

Finally, I want to reiterate that the safety of you and your loved ones is of the utmost importance. While keeping that foremost in our thoughts, we can continue to work together, remain determined, and move towards a better tomorrow as Team AAAADC. We send our heartfelt thanks to all those who are putting their lives on the line as healthcare and/or essential workers to care for those suffering from the effects of the current pandemic. A special shout-out goes to those among us who are providing these services. May God bless, guide, and protect you!

On behalf of my family, I send my heartfelt wishes that you and your loved ones remain healthy and well in these challenging times. Thank you again for staying home and staying safe.

Members of AAAADC, YOU ARE AMAZING TODAY AND FOREVER!!
God bless each of you and your loved ones! God bless our countries Sierra Leone and the USA, and
God bless the Albert Academy!! ESSE QUAM VIDERI, ONE AA, ONE VISION.
Florence A.K Jarfoi; MSc
AKA: LADY FLO
President AAAADC

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