The event, held at the Maple Grove Community Center, started off at 9am Saturday July 29th 2006. Different groups were set up to discuss several aspects of society that have an impact on education. These included religion, poverty, parents and politics among others.
Perhaps, the most anticipated event of the day was the graduation gala where graduates are recognized for their academic achievements in different levels of education, ranging from 12th grade to doctorate degrees and everything in between. The graduates were not only dressed magnificently but one could see their faces beam with pride and joy at their accomplishments.
Some of the graduates honored that day had the chance to address the attendants. One could not help but notice that the key statement made by most of the speakers was, "it’s not easy…" Whereas that may be true, Zachary Mosoti (PhD in Human Resource Development) for instance added "…but where there is a will there is a way." "Well said," I thought. When one realizes his/her dream after an immeasurable amount of effort put into it, one can’t avoid thinking of the journey that brought him/her thus far. Many of the speeches given had, "more than a hint of the past," ranging from school uniforms patched up with virakas to an orange acting as a form of motivation to attend school.
A great emphasis was put on the importance of mentors to ensure success in education. Lynna Mairura (BSN in Biology with a minor in Psychology from the U of M) attributed her success to having “great mentors.” She also encouraged those that have are a step ahead in education to “mentor someone to encourage them to get through.” In addition to that, Dr. Ogembo used his sense of humor to make a point that “opportunity plus motivation equals horizon.” He wisely noted, “Those that surpass the highest horizon are those that pursue things that transcend their personal needs.” That simply means to look beyond the here and now.
Attorney General, Mike Hatch, who is running for Governor of Minnesota, was also present. He stressed the importance of education in the community. He expressed his sadness at the current sky-high college tuition and opined there is another way to bring down teh cost of tuition and make college affordable for all students. He stated that if elected one of his goals would be to “lower tuition in public schools,” so that “no person in Minnesota would use money as an excuse not to pursue higher education.” He expressed his pride at the academic accomplishments of all the graduates that were honored during the event.
Before the certificates were presented to the graduates, MKIDA chairman, Phillip Bosire offered his wisdom by challenging the attendees to “learn to turn dreams into crystal-clear goals, the goals into rock-solid plans and the plans into a series of highly focused actions.” With that well put he quickly stressed, “For those that much is given, much is required.” Grace and Esther Nyauncho, Phillip Bosire’s wife and daughter, respectively, were among the many graduates honored on this day.
The day, as inspiring as it was, had to finally come to an end. It was crowned with the presentation of certificates to the so-deserving graduates and speeches from several of the groups that were set up earlier that day.