Onasanya charges Dowen College students to be success conscious

Cross section of graduating students of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos

Cross section of graduating students of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos

The former Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of First Bank Plc, Stephen Olabisi Onasanya, has charged students to set realistic goals for themselves and settle only for courses that they have strong love for.

Onasanya who was a special guest at the 13th valedictory/graduation of Dowen College, Lagos, also emphasised the need for students to be conscious of their strengths and weaknesses when pursuing personal successes, saying, “choose a course you love, but don’t let your course choose you .You must also manage your time effectively.”

While stressing the need for them to be resilient in the face of mounting academic rigours, he said, “the most successful people are those that rise whenever the fail. They don’t quit so soon. Most people who quit in life are people who never knew how close they were to their success.”

In his exhortation, Vicar, St Peters Anglican Church, Olodi Apapa, Venerable Kingsley Agu, urged the students to take heed to the word of God.

Speaking on the theme: “Strength for Today, Bright Hope for Tomorrow”, Agu deplored the mindless looting that has become something akin to culture in the country, saying the growing greed in the polity was because people were striving “to gather as much as possible to save for the rainy day. But this is a wrong way of making it.

“I therefore, charge you young people as you grow, take heed of the word of God; study it, memorise it and walk in it and your way will prosper,” he advised.

Similarly, principal of the school, Mrs. Olawumi Togonu-Bickersteth, urged the students to develop themselves through continuous learning, constantly upgrade their knowledge and skills in preparation for the challenges of staying relevant in a dynamic environment.

Togonu-Bickersteth expressed happiness that, “We are specially celebrating you today for the majority of you who have got admissions into universities and colleges, and others who will be pursuing “A” Level courses in top schools. Worthy of note is Cynthia Moka, our outgoing head girl, who got admission into Baylor University, Texas, United States of America, to read Pre-Medicine degree course with a $56,000 scholarship.

She also advised the students to “work on your skills to help you build and drive your generation … “never walk alone, collaborate and work together with others,” and “watch what you eat, drink, read, wear, hear or listen to and of course who you associate with.”

Speaking in a similar vein, Chairman, Board of Governors of the college Dr. Olumide Phillips, challenged the departing students to always dream dreams and believe in their dreams saying, “Dream dreams and believe in your dreams. Have few good friends. Have faith in God. You must also not involve yourself in dubious activities. Don’t do ‘deals.’ Be filled with the Holy Spirit, work more in love, extend your love to others, treat others with respect. You must also desist from greed.”

A total of 58 students graduated as Maryam Popoola, emerged valedictorian.

Popoola thanked her parents, “for the efforts and time invested towards building my future and of course to other parents present today, I say a big thank you. You have all supported us through the highs and lows of secondary school and have remained motivational figures in our lives. It is one thing to bear a child and it is another to train the said child. So, thank you for those years of unforgettable lectures and creative forms of discipline.

She reminded her colleagues that, “Excellence is not a skill, it is an attitude that we should all embrace to survive and inevitably succeed. If you aim for success, there is a probability that you may achieve it, but if you aim for excellence, success is sure to follow.”

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