Valedictorian Stephanie Pascal

Valedictorian of the Dominica State College (DSC) Graduating class of 2017, Stephanie Pascal, has called on the graduates and Dominicans by extension, to increase their level of integrity as the world is “tainted” with lies and deceit.

She gave the charge at the 15th Commencement ceremony of over 300 graduates on July 12th at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium.

In her address, Pascal said that with integrity comes honesty and morality.

“Today’s world has become tainted with deceit, corruption and lies; therefore the need for integrity is greater than ever before. To have integrity is to be honest and to showcase strong morals. Integrity is embodied in the most used quote of the last U.S. elections ‘Your Word is Your Bond.’ Do whatever you say you will do, and do it to the best of your ability,” Pascal said.

She encouraged the other graduates to always “keep true to your word” for it is difficult to regain a trust that has been lost and to show accountability for actions done.

“My dear graduates, we must also be accountable for our actions, do not do anything in life simply because you have to, rather do it because you want to or because that step will take you closer to achieving your goals,” she stated.

She also encouraged the graduates to find their purpose, as having this is a major contributor to accountability.

She spoke of the respect for God, self, parents, peers, superiors, and those who are labeled as inferior by others and she used the example of a bus driver and how he, with the level of education and experience that he has, molds his children into great men and women.

“To you, he is just a mere bus driver, someone who has only attained primary school education. True this man is only a bus driver, but he is also a father, a father to three children whom he has been there for every single day of their lives. He instills value in such as importance of being well-rounded individuals, striving in both academic and extracurriculars…The value of having a voice and never being afraid to speak out, even if you have to speak out alone, as a result, his children will go on to become engineers, athletes and politicians, do not disrespect the bus driver, he and his children do not appreciate it,” Pascal stated.

She left her audience with a quote from American actor, Andrew Shue, and noted that a level of thanks and appreciation must be shown by the graduates who have seen the end of their academic journey at the DSC.

“I leave you with the words of Andrew Shue, ‘Life is the most exciting opportunity we have. But we have one shot. You graduate from college once, and that’s it. You’re going out of that nest, and you have to find that courage that’s deep, deep, deep in there, every step of the way.’ Equipped with God, proper support systems, such as family and friends and now most recently our Associate Degree, I have no doubts that we will all travel far on our respective journeys,” she remarked.