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ASLOT 2016/2017 Academic Honors and Award ceremony in Texas

7 July 2017 at 01:36 | 1489 views

By Sanpha Sesay, Texas

Every year, the Association of Sierra Leonean Organizations in Texas (ASLOT) recognizes academics and professionals of Sierra Leoneans graduating from High schools, colleges/Universities and Technical institutions. This year, the graduation and award ceremony took place at the University of Texas in Arlington (UTA) on July 1, 2017. Twelve graduates from the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex were recognized and honored by ASLOT this year.

Responding to the challenges and yearnings of the twenty first century academic work, the Keynote speaker, Conrad L. John delivered a very powerful, passionate, inspiring and informative speech to the graduates and future graduates.

John, who is an attorney working with a State Senator in Austin, Texas, focused his speech on academic attributes of college freshmen that lead to success.

The young lawyer reiterated that “perseverance and resilience” are important elements for a successful life and career; therefore, he advised graduates to exalt the prowess and perseverance of faithful academic work in their career journey. He spoke affectionately about his immigrant parents, Mr. & Mrs. Winston John (from Sierra Leone), whom he described as the most powerful influence on his life for what he is today.

"Students should remember that after God is the parents who nurture you and give you all the support you needed in the upbringing," he said.

"Despite sometimes many students are passing through a phase of adversity and crisis in trying to accomplish their goals, persevering and resilience are important skills to apply in overcoming all obstacles, lawyer John" added.

"When a student faces academic challenges, college students who persevere through those challenges use the hardships as stepping stones to success," he pointed out..

Lawyer John informed graduates about things that guided him in his successful life saying that “there is no power in fear”; a statement which gratifies steadfastness when facing challenges in life.

Fear, he said is just an obstacle that negative things are coming your way that you should not be scared of or fear. Failure should not shatter students’ life, he said, it is just a stepping stone to success.

He cited president Barrack Obama, Michael Jordan and other African American legends who persevered in their challenges to forge their career pursuit and that students should emulate these examples.

John commended ASLOT for such an innovative program and informed graduates and future graduates to cherish and be proud of being part of such a passionate community.

"Do not forget your background, and do not forget your parents wherever you are heading to because they are your role model of success, " he said.

He added that parents are ones who show genuine love and guidance.

Earlier, the president of ASLOT, Reuben Ndomahina also spoke about the impact of perseverance and passion for long term goals on educational accomplishment. He said students should avoid getting drawn into controversy and adhere to their resolutions with steadfastness.

Ndomahina briefly explained the objectives of ASLOT and the organization’s challenges to accomplish a cohesive goal.

"Our group is composed of US-based Sierra Leoneans who are taking action in finding solutions for the problems that our home nation is going through, and education is one the major challenges the organization is confronting. However, for ASLOT to continue to be a successful, and innovative organization it requires people who are passionate about creating growth.

The event kicked off with the traditional ceremony of prayers in both Islam and Christianity followed by the United States National Anthem and that of Sierra Leone.

Dr. Alie Patrick Koroma gave a vote of thanks while Mr. Ebun Williams was the Master of Ceremony (MC). Honorable Consul General, Mr. Patrick Jackson was also present at the ceremony. He conferred a plaque on the keynote speaker, Conrad John for his remarkable speech.

Dr Alusine Jalloh, one of the ASLOT founders, second from left and Reuben Ndomahina on the right.

Conrad John and fiance Brittany Potvin-Green

Mrs. Zainabu Koroma, Florence and others.

Graduates Seyram Kokutse (left) and Davida Kessebeh