Three young men graduated yesterday from an alternative education programme for middle and secondary school pupils.
Jerriko Gibbons, Jade Douglas, both 17, and Cameron Sousa-Saints, 19, all completed the Success Academy’s GED programme.
Mr Gibbons thanked staff and his family for “their support, for being hard on me, and for not letting me give up on myself”.
He added that Success Academy was “one of the best schools out there” and that his graduation was “a great day”.
Mr Gibbons is to go on to study heating, ventilation and air conditioning at Bermuda College.
He will be joined at the Paget campus by Mr Douglas, who will study marine science.
Mr Sousa-Saints is to start work in his father’s mechanical engineering business.
John Duncan, Success Academy programme director, said the school’s “mutual trust, genuine love, affirmation, support and guidance” helped young people to “realise the genius within themselves”.
Dr Duncan said Success Academy was created in 2016 when the Ministry of Education spearheaded its transition from “the education centre for out-of school suspension”.
He added that the academy operated on a three-pronged approach to education. Pupils, teachers, and parents are involved in learning and development.
Dr Duncan, who has worked in education for almost 30 years, joined Success Academy as the intervention director in 2016.
He said the school’s small size allowed for one-on-one teaching and parental involvement, as well as conditions where “the academics then fall into place”.
Dr Duncan thanked the school’s staff and said their commitment to education was apparent “each and every day”.
He added assured that the class of 2018 was “ready to become change agents within our community and take the world by force”.
Kalmar Richards, acting Commissioner of Education, said the three graduates were “phenomenal young men of excellence and distinction”.
She added that the academy had “redefined alternative education” on the island and provided “roads paved with opportunity” for its pupils.
Ms Richards added that “our situations and circumstances do not determine our outcomes”.