By Vivian Onyebukwa
It was pomp as Laureates College, Lagos, held its Valedictory Service for the graduating class of 2022. The event which took place at the school hall in Lagos, was also an award winning day as the school authority identified and awarded the graduating students who have excelled in different areas.
The awards came in three different categories. They included the Overall Best Three Students in SS3, Best in Subjects, and Award from the school authority to the students.
The Overall Best Three Student Awards went to Chris Udonsi with 87.7 points, Chelsea Duru came second with 84.9 points, while Omobola Akanbi came third scoring 84.3 points.
Best in Subjects Award category went to Omobolanle Ajayi who won the Best English student award with 90 marks, Chelsea Duru won 93 in Biology, Aliya Bamgbose, 87 in Government, while Chris Udonsi became the highest scorer in Physics with 92 marks.
Again Chelsea Duru scored highest in Chemistry with 85 marks, Chris Udonsi too, also scored highest in Economics with 87 marks, and Omobola Ajayi once more came first scoring 81 in Literature.
In his words of exhortation titled “Overcoming Obstacles”, Pastor Ifiok Ukobo counselled the students on life challenges, saying that every human being encounters tribulations, but overcomes all with Christ. “When we chose to have Jesus, our lives are expanded. Every obstacle, pressure is common to humanity, not unique. Life challenges makes us to look inwards to make use of God’s given talents”. He noted that God will not allow one to have overwhelming challenges, but if there is, He provides a way of escape when you turn to God”.
Kobo advised the students to desist from drugs and all sorts of evil to avoid being in trouble. “Don’t turn to drugs, gangs, cultism, prostitution, etc”.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the event, The Proprietress of the school, Dr Olatokunbo Somolu, urged the students to be patient. “This is computer age. They all want to buy SUV. They want to become record breakers. No. Everything has time. One step at a time and you will get there. The key word is patience and forbearance. “Do not to look at anybody else to know that you are working in line with God’s own timing. Be focused. People are different. Challenges are different, therefore you should go with your time”.
Admonishing the parent on peculiarity of children, she stated noted the peculiarity of children. A lot of parents push their children to ways they don’t want to go. Some parents because they are looking for money and fame, abandon their children. Parents should pay more attention to their children. They should know that everybody’s life is different. Whatever they do, and they are passionate for it, they would do it well, but let them first of all have a basic education”.
In his valedictory speech, the overall best student, Chris Udonsi, expressed gratitude to the school management for their efforts in teaching them, and admonished his fellow students to learn, grow, and make use of all they have been taught. He also appreciated the parents for investing in them, saying the school is worth investing in.
Speaking on the secret of his success, Chris Udonsi admitted that it wasn’t easy. “There was so much competition in my class, but I am glad I came out tops. I made it through a lot of hard work and reading”.
Udonsi who said he would like to study Computer Engineering, advised other children never to give up. “Even though you are working so hard and can’t see the progress, don’t give up, it will show up eventually. Keep striving harder so that when you see your success, it will be bigger than your expectations”.
On how he was able to make it despite social media influence, he said, “People are different. While some people would be online trying to make connections and all that, I spent more time reading. Not that I didn’t spent time online, I did, but I read more than coming online. It is good to make a balance. Read and actually connect online, but make a balance”.
He expressed his views about Laurel College, describing it as a good school. “The teachers explain the curriculum perfectly that everybody should be able to understand. Even though you don’t understand, they are very approachable, so you can go back to them for more explanations”.
Also speaking, Chelsea Duru, Overall Second Best Second Student, said, “feel like this is handwork paid off”.
She wish is to study Medicine, and advise the younger ones that consistency is the mother of perfection. “Handwork really pays. keep working hard’, she stated.