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When asked to describe how they felt about their graduation from the Abraham Lincoln School on Friday June 24th, the feeling many of the graduates expressed was “bittersweet” – and how could it not be? For many their graduation marked the end of 14 years in a school which had nurtured them as tiny kindergarten children and seen them grow into successful adults ready to take on the world… a feeling of excitement for the future and yet nostalgia for the past was something they all shared, no matter their differences.
The Abraham Lincoln School Class of 2013
While the entire graduation was filled with unforgettable moments (click here to read part 1), perhaps one of the memorable parts was the speech of Headmaster, Mr. Harry Magee, who began by welcoming several members of the first ALS graduating class of 1983 who were celebrating their 30 year School Reunion.
“The members of that class of ’83 are now all busy professional people but have always stayed in contact with their Alma Mater. One of the things they always say is how privileged they feel to have received their first 14 years of education at our school, a school where teachers are passionate about their subjects and intensely committed to their students, where students love learning and where there is competition along with community. It is a place of self examination, critical thinking, independent minds, ambitious yearnings and amazing growth. It is truly indeed a privilege to attend such a school and I think our graduates tonight realize it.
Ironically, sometimes the more privileged we are, and the more opportunities we have, the more we worry about what is to come. President John F. Kennedy said ‘For those of us to whom much is given, much is required.’ This is an ancient concept but not an outdated one. To be a truly realized human being is to be responsible and to recognize and accept your duties to others. With great privilege comes great responsibility.
The other approach for you to adopt is to express deeply and genuinely your own sense of gratitude. However, it is not for others that either responsibility or gratitude makes the biggest difference, it is for yourself.
The motto of the Abraham Lincoln School is Aspire, Learn, Succeed. Members of the graduating class, you have learned many things during your 14 years at our school. Enjoy the privilege of the extraordinary education you have been so fortunate to experience and aspire to climb the greatest heights of achievement. But know that it is not achievement that will ultimately most reward you. It is the quality of the responsibility you take and the spirit of the gratitude that you manifest that will most reward you and will ultimately make you feel happiest and most fulfilled.”
— an excerpt from the speech of Mr. Harry Magee, Headmaster at the Abraham Lincoln School
With such an excellent education under the belts, we wish the Abraham Lincoln School Class of 2013 the very best for the future. Remember – if you can dream it, you can do it!
Here we share with you the thoughts, feelings and hopes for the future of some of the graduates:
“Studying at the Abraham Lincoln School was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The Abraham Lincoln School was my second home for 14 years, where I met the most amazing people who turned out to be my second family – all like brothers and sisters.
The Abraham Lincoln School has helped me prepare for my future studies. I managed to get into my dream university Concordia in Montreal, Canada.”
“It’s a bittersweet sensation, on the one hand you have that incredible sense of accomplishment and the inmense happiness of never having to go back, but on the other hand there is that feeling of uncertainty. We are entering a new chapter of our lives which is a little scary, but thrilling at the same time and also a little sad because we are leaving our friends.
The Abraham Lincoln School is a great place where you not only get a one of a kind education, but it is also a place where unbreakable bonds are created.
Whats next? I am going to Suffolk University in Boston, where I hope to learn many new things, meet lots of new people and create memories that will last forever”
“I am very pleased with everything I’ve learned in the Abraham Lincoln School and also proud of myself for having achieved this step in my life which is not the end, its the beginning of a bright future that awaits us out there.
First, I infinitely thank God, then my parents and teachers for everything, without their help this would not have been possible. Now, with God and our parent’s support and with much more effort and dedication, we will move on, go to different places and universities and once again reach the top of this new phase – becoming professionals and experts in our areas.”
Blenin Azcona Vélez
“It’s bittersweet, you’re so happy that you graduated, but at the same time a bit sad because you leave behind the people you grew up with. I personally feel good about graduating because after those fourteen years of hard work you have to feel good!
My time at the Abraham Lincoln School was incredible, I learned a lot and had loads of fun with my classmates & teachers.
Now I will be leaving to London, England, to study International Business at Hult International Business School. I will keep working hard so I can end up being successful.”
Nicole E. Rodriguez Beras
“It’s a big thrill! It seemed like this day would never come. To me, it was a dream come true. I was so nervous, but then realized that graduating from high school just happens once in your life. When you put all your effort to achieve something you desire, there is nothing or no one that can prevent you from reaching that goal. Graduation was something I desired, and I accomplished it!
Every year at the Abraham Lincoln School I experienced something new. Believe it or not, each year I would get better grades! When I got to 12th grade, me and my classmates got along better, and I think this was because we begin to be more mature and united as a class. How can I forget all the funny moments the boys like Alfredo, Ivan, Jose, Belfrank and Braulio made during class and recess time. Although for many of us it was tough getting A’s, we put a lot of effort and dedication to obtain good grades whilst we were having a good time.
My goal is to get into a good college in New York and pursue a career in Accounting. I want to be a good accountant and pursue that profession with excellence.”
“It’s bittersweet, I never thought it was going to be so hard to leave my school days behind and start a new life at college without my friends. I’m excited to start my new journey, but it definitely feels weird.
The Abraham Lincoln School requires hard work and all the teachers have very high expectations, so I did find it difficult at times even though I know it was well worth it, I had amazing experiences and all the time I had with my classmates were definitely priceless. I’m certainly going to miss them!
I’m planning to study Tourism and I’m very excited about it, I can’t wait to start my new life in college and see where it takes me.”
“The feeling of having graduated is still unreal, I feel like any Monday I’ll have to go to school. But at the same time it feels amazing and honestly a little scary knowing that we’re heading towards the real world now even though we are well prepared.
My time at the Abraham Lincoln School was simply fantastic, I really enjoyed everyday there. Apart from everything we learn academically, I got the opportunity to make friendships that I know will last forever. ALS is a community that I loved being part of.
I was lucky to get accepted to different universities in the United States and at the end I chose Emerson College in Boston, but I don’t start until January so for now I will go back to Italy yo study Italian and French and then I will head to Boston in January to start my Marketing Communications Major.”
Luis Morato Dickson
“It feels like I have just opened a new door in my life.
I would describe my time at the Abraham Lincoln School as priceless
I plan to study international business in the UNIBE/ FIU.”
“Everyone tells me I looked as if I would burst with pride and emotion on the night of Luis Emilio’s graduation. He is the baby of our home, and I had visualized this moment very far in the future. But there it was finally, much too soon! Walking beside him on graduation night, looking at my handsome young man standing tall, with sure and confident steps, was one of the most incredible days of my life, possibly only comparable to that blessed moment when I held him in my arms for the first time. Most of the children in ALS Class of 2013 started kindergarten and grew up together. I can remember their little faces from Christmas plays and birthday parties. Now they are moving on to college to become doctors, lawyers, engineers…It is such an exciting time in their lives and I wish them the very best of success in their future from the bottom of my heart. Never forget your family values, the valuable lessons of your teachers, your friends. They are the best and most solid foundation on which to build for the future. Congratulations!!”
-Vivian Dickson (Mother of Luis Morato)
“At first it was scary, but now it feels great! It feels right.
My time at the Abraham Lincoln School was a mixture between stress and joy! There’s nothing better than having a sore stomach from so much laughter!”
“It makes me feel different since everything will be different in August-September, because I won’t be going back to the Abraham Lincoln School anymore and won’t be seeing my classmates, however I don’t see it as a bad thing because it just makes me want to start college faster in order to experience something new.
My time at the Abraham Lincoln School was very productive, because today I’m able to speak fluently two languages that will help me throughout my career.
I’m going to stay in Santo Domingo since I want to study law, but after I finish my degree I would like to do a masters abroad.”
“Graduating feels surreal. It´s hard to believe we won’t be going back to ALS in September and that I really won’t be seeing everybody’s faces everyday and fooling around in class with them. It’s heartbreaking, but exciting at the same time. College is becoming something very real now and although it is quite scary I can’t wait to begin that stage of my life.
My time at ALS was priceless. Friends became family and studying at ALS was really a great privilege; I am very grateful for the English I’ve acquired. It had its ups and downs as everything in life, but I would not describe it as anything less than amazing, school really does become your second home.
Next is Miami. I will be doing a BBA in FIU.
About my GPA..I’m just happy I was able to achieve that. It’s always nice to break records and nothing is really more valuable than the look of pride on my parents’ faces when it was announced.”
Proud parents of the Abraham Lincoln School Graduating Class 2013
For the parents of the Abraham Lincoln School Class of 2013, there can be no doubt that watching their little babies graduate was a great moment for them too. And as part of the “pre-graduation” celebrations, a number of the parents took part in a video to commemorate the graduation created by two of the graduates; Eliana Alba and Vittoria Bellia. In the video the parents deliver a message “You are my pride. Never forget it.”
It’s a great video, if you haven’t seen it yet, here it is:
(If you can’t see the video hit “refresh” and it should appear.)
Photos by Bryan de la Cruz.
The Abraham Lincoln School, located within Central Romana, in the town of La Romana, is a private school for the children of employees of the Central Romana Corporation, but is also attended by other children who pay yearly tuition fees.