Education Without Truth And Vision Is Useless Unless… -Judge Eva Mappy Morgan Lauds New Hope Academy for Academic Excellence

MONROVIA – An Assistant Professor of Law at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law of the University of Liberia, Eva Mappy Morgan, hastoldgraduates of the New Hope Academy (NHA) in Paynesville that “education without truth and vision is useless”, and as such, they must strive, with commitment and determination aimed at actualizing their dreams and aspirations.

Serving as a Keynote Speaker at the 20th Commencement program held on the campus of the NHA on Peace Island in Jacob’s Town, recently Judge Morgan said “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” She referenced Proverbs 20:18 which states that “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”

Judge Morgan: “Your vision, your dream is what makes you see an opportunity and seize it. Your Dream is the Most Important Thing! You all dreamed of becoming engineers, doctors, IT professionals, Geologists, Accountants, Social and Military Scientists. You imagined, you have a vision, this is why you are here; this is why you have taken the first leap into actualizing your fullest potential for nation-building and self-development.   Latch on to the Freedom to Dream, and Fulfil It!”

Prof. Morgan who teaches Torts, Ethics and Moot court at the famous UL Law School furthertold the graduates: “It delights me to be here with you today, my dear young scholars. I feel the excitement, I see your energy and understand your zeal to burst out of the ‘proverbial’ box. This is how it should be. You must be curious, be courageous, ready to explore the world, challenging yourselves to see and go elsewhere from this place.”

“And, the name of your class, ‘OmniaParatus’ speaks to who you MUST become!  The name says, You Are Prepared In All Things. Believe this, when you are prepared, you not only see opportunities around you, but you also grab hold of such chances, taking full advantage of how you can transform your life.  As you graduate today, all of you are on your way to college and have determined to be young professionals in the next four (4) to six (6) years at least,” she added.

Judge Morgan: “In a class of eighteen (18) students, split evenly between males and females, you have these extraordinary numbers: Six (6) medical doctors; Five (5) civil, mechanical and software engineers; Four (4) Social, Military and Earth Scientists; Two (2) Information Technologists; and One (1) Accountant,” she told the graduates.

Quoting a World Bank Report -Third Edition of Liberia Economic Update for 2021 Judge Morgan stressed that “…well educated people are critical for sustainable development…”

“Therefore, you must continue to prepare yourselves, stay in school, study hard, and you will well be on your way to overcoming some of the dire statistics regarding Liberia’s educational system.     It is you who must conclude that amidst all the difficulties, you will endeavor to do your level best. You will stay the course, you will run and complete your educational journey which will ensure your own meaningful participation in Liberia’s development.”

As Guest Speaker, “I have the privilege most respectfully, to give you some key strategies that I apply into navigating the perils, happiness, disappointments, accomplishments, all the wonderful and horrible things one will encounter in life. She highlighted Discipline, Integrity, Humanity, Courage and Prayer.

She explained that discipline– which root word is disciple, comes from the Latin word, discipulus, meaning student, a person who studies. Also, discipline is from the Latin word, Disciplina, which is instruction and training, which comes from the root word discere, meaning to learn.  I find this summary of discipline, very simple “Discipline is to study, learn, train and apply a system of standards. Discipline is not something others do to you. It is something you do for yourself. You can receive instruction or guidance from one or many sources, but the source of discipline is not external. It is internal. Discipline is not obedience to someone else’s standards to avoid punishment. It is learning and applying intentional standards to achieve meaningful objectives.

“Your school, New Hope Academy (NHA), was established on Christian Principles. So, The Holy Bible, and I dare say many Books of Faith, provide insights on studying, receiving instructions, taking responsibility for oneself. For example, 1 Thessalonians 4: 11 says, “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands as we commanded you.”  And in 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Touching on Integrity, she indicated that Integrity is defined as adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character, honesty. This is a quality of continuous regard to the moral principles that you believe in, so that people respect and trust you. Integrity is also firm adherence to a code of moral or artistic values: Incorruptibility; 2) An unimpaired condition: Soundness; 3) The quality of state of being complete or undivided: Completeness. From the Latin word, Integer means “untouched, unhurt, unchanged, sound, fresh, whole, entire, pure; honest. 

“Again, the NHA, I understand, does nothing without the guidance of  God’s Word. So, let’s find what His Word says about integrity. Job 2:9 “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die; Job 27:5 “God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.”; Psalms 25:21, Let integrity and uprightness preserve me: for I wait on thee; Proverbs 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him; Psalms 7:8 The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, o Lord according to my righteous and according to my integrity that is in me. Saying no to wrong, not subscribing to the wrong because everyone is doing it, is integrity. You continue to do what is right. This where you stand, and be firmed against negative peer pressure.”

Commenting on Humility, she asserted that Humility is “Freedom from pride or arrogance: the quality or state of being humble; Similarly, humility that forbids you from thinking you are better than others;  Relying once more on the His Word, we find this in Proverbs 15:33; “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility; Proverb 22:4, By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life.”

According to Judge Morgan, Humility is one of the highest forms trying to be a wholesome person. You serve; you work; you are not focus on who gets the credit because you are passionate and committed to your task. Believe this, the credit will come. When you work hard, do not cheat, but no one acknowledges that, please do not worry yourself. Recognition for work done is like Truth, which comes to light, no matter how deeply buried,” she stressed.

Speaking on Courage, she asserted that courage is defined as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.”

     In Psalms 31:24 “we are told to “Be of good courage and he shall strengthen your heart; all ye that hope in the Lord.” When the King Hezekiah faced great danger from the Assyrian army as found in 2 Chronicles 32:7, he urged his soldiers to “Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed…” Courage is not foolish. It’s knowing that you must endure in times of challenges to overcome. You must also be truthful; to yourself, and resolute that whatever the danger, the obstacles, you are a winner.

“PRAYER-Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known unto God.    Philippians 4:6

“Now, Rev. Augustine Arkoi, CEO /Founder of BFF and Proprietor of New Hope Academy can tell you how these principles enumerated above and others he’s employed helped shaped his vision for this institution. The New Hope Academy is twenty (27) years old. According to the school’s data, enrollment of female students is on the increase; and they are out performing their male colleagues, including being highest performing students in the last five years (Girl Power)! At the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law where I am Associate Professor of Law, a brilliant young woman, Samuelle Hare, graduated top of her class, claiming a place in the history of the school as the first woman to achieve this high mark in its recent past.  Oh, here is another life’s lesson, you must learn to honor and respect people, giving them the credit deserved for work done. When you fail to edify your colleagues for their achievement, you are on the road to leading a miserable, mediocre and dangerous life. Dangerous because in your envy and bitterness you hurt just for the sake of it, and/or for the perceived pleasure you gain.   

“Listen, focus on your education, your life and ask these questions we all find on an invitation: Who, What, When, Where?  And to my law students I would add, how? So, I ask you today. Who are you?  What do you want? When do you want it? Where do you get it? And how do you accomplish it? These questions may seem mundane, but your answers will dictate how you apply the principles of discipline, integrity humility, and courage which I have shared with you today. The BFF motto says “Education: First Step Out of Poverty; Path to Self-esteem, Self-sufficiency”. Let me hasten to add that I agree with this statement. I agree that education is important and has the potential to lift an entire country out of poverty. However, education without truth and vision is useless.

Touching on her personal story, Judge Morgan narrated to the young graduates: “Here is part of my story. I wanted to be a lawyer, I imagined myself a lawyer, I dreamed of being a lawyer and here I am. First you see it, then you be it.  So yes, I believe a dream, a vision, an imagination, and I dare borrow from the sages, your good intention is the trigger for becoming, as one of my mentors, Oprah Winfrey puts it the “highest, truest expression of myself as a “human being. “Please don’t get me talking about Oprah. This woman, besides my grandmother, Martha Mlimah Mappy (late) continues to inspire and motivate me. Thanks Oprah, a wonderful human being you are!

“I also salute Nelson Mendala (late), (First Black President of South Africa); Ellen Johnson Sirleaf  of Liberia (First Female President In All of Africa) Angela Brooks Randall, (First Female President of the United Nations, General Assembly (from Liberia); Emma Shannon Walser (First Female Circuit Judge, Liberia) Tyler Perry, famed Comedian & Motivational Speaker, Maya Angelo, Poet Laureate; Barack Obama (First Black President, United States of America); Kentanji Brown Jackson, (First Black Woman, United States Supreme Court), Mahatma Ghandi, (non-violent leader of Indian’s independence from colonial rule)  who overcame struggles, who persevered, who believed in themselves.  And, Who Dare To Dream, Pursued and Realized that Dream.  Read their stories, you will find threading in almost all their endeavors a high level of discipline, integrity, humility and courage. 

“What I’ve learned from these people is that in moments like this one, a person must speak from the heart. This is why I believe many of the personalities named who have inspired and continued to do so, even from the grave,  stimulate our whole being because they tell their personal stories, they are ‘for real’ nothing fake, nothing staged, just saying and telling who they are and of the challenges and joys encountered in the quest to accomplish their dreams. Nothing more, nothing less. Just like a ‘pound of flesh’ in the fable, Merchant of Venice!

“So, my dear wonderful, energetic, bright eye, brilliant, inquisitive, productive and joyful graduates of the class of 2021-2022, in this space, this time, as you move from this milestone to the next, and the next, and the next, endeavor to dream, and with discipline, integrity, humility and courage, and as long as God lends you breath, you too can Be LITE …Lead, Inspired, Transformed, Enjoyed!” she concluded.

In his Valedictorian address, David C. Kollie, who spoke on the Theme: ‘’Consistency in Education,’’ quoted a legendary scholar, Bill Black Man who once said “great changes may not happen right away, but with effort, even the difficult may become easy”

Kollie said “fellow graduates and friends, our efforts were not infinitesimal, we were committed throughout our educational journey and today we are here and this is a substantial evidence that we are prepared for greater competitions in the larger society. From this backdrop, we chose our class name as Omnia Paratus.”

Kollie: “To every one of you, I may be the valedictorian, but our grades difference does not change the fact that it is because of you that I am here. So, before you call me your valedictorian, please remember this famous African phrase ‘UBUNTU’ which simply means, I am, because you are.”

“Comrades, without your love, care and cooperation, this dream wouldn’t have been possible. Thank you, my amazing graduates, I will definitely miss every one of you and I hope and pray that this union we have built will go a very long way into the future. Not for school alone, but for life. “Today, we are here to commemorate an immense success that started a very long time, this success story comprises sleepless night, hard work, dedication, and relentless perseverance for academic excellence. At times we felt tired, hungry, we had no school fees or meal for the day, but we chose not to give up. In the midst of all the adversities, we were hopeful that one day we will proudly walk out of high school and transition into the larger society with flying colors.

“OMNIA PARATUS! Moving forward, I want to seize this opportunity to appreciate not only my mother or my family, I also want to appreciate all families present here today. Thank you all for believing in us and relentlessly fighting to give us the best of life. We love you our mothers, fathers, our uncles, aunts and extended relatives. May God Almighty bless you beyond your imagination. “To our teachers, “ we say thank you” is an understatement, we appreciate you dearly because, your demonstrated love for us is insurmountable and will remain fresh on our minds now and in the future. Away from our parents, you served with devotion, commitment and dedication both as our mentors, friends, and our educators. You all played a very pivotal role in this great dream we have accomplished, thank you also.

“To conclude, I would love to elaborate to my peers here today on the importance of consistency in education. Fellow graduates, today we sit here smiling and celebrating this enormous achievement, we are not only classmates but families. We are a group of determined and devoted students with sound minds and good morals. Nevertheless, be aware that this is not the end, it is just the beginning of the journey ahead. Fellow graduates, we are all aware of the life changing opportunities that education adds to a person’s life, we all can remember Nelson Mandela famous quote “education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world”. Education adds so much values to our lives that we, as young people, should not take for granted. If we are passionate about changing the lives of our parents, the society in which we live, and our nation, Liberia, we have to practice consistency in our educational sojourn. Standing up here today is a clear evidence that anything in life is possible, I am not from a rich family and maybe some of you here are from a poor family, no matter the case, or circumstances we find ourselves in today, I want to encourage you all to not give up on your educational dream, do not stop until you are live the life of your dream.

“After leaving here today, I recommend to you all, let’s keep pushing, stay focused and committed to what you believe in because one day, we are going to serve as the beacon of hope for this generation and the generations to come. We shouldn’t allow complacency to over shadow us. A high school diploma is just the beginning of the educational race.  Let us not be satisfied with what we have achieved today, but rather fight to be the leaders our nation has not gotten for one hundred, seventy-five years (175) now.

“Let us be the new hope, let us build a new mindset, and together we can build a truly new Liberia.”

Also speaking at the graduation ceremony was Mrs. Siatta Stevens, Executive Director of the President’s Young Professionals Program (PYPP) who expressed delight with the output of one of the NHA graduates sent to the PYPP for internship.

She explained that the two-week intensive work with the young lad has been rewarding even though the institution is meant for first degree or holders. Part of my time here will also be used to assess the NHA facility to explore possible areas of future collaboration with BFF and the school, Madam Stevens further said.

She promised to do her best in bringing out the best out of the young man who is willing to serve whenever needed.

Comments are closed.