By Pamela Stern
The administration of FDA VIII celebrated their graduating students with a Drive In Graduation on June 19th and a virtual graduation on June 22nd.
Highlights of the virtual ceremony included: Kiesha Kemp’s recitation of the FDA VIII’s Scholar’s Creed, Paris Monderson, a member of the class of 2020 showcased her beautiful voice by singing “Lift Every Voice,” Assistant Principal Ms. Green shard her thoughts and welcomed everyone attending the virtual graduation.
Salutorian, Mohammed Ahnaf, spoke of hopes for the future. Valedictorian, Shariza Mashafi spoke about some of his favorite memories of FDA VIII and how he and his classmates should cherish them. He recalled the class trip to the Liberty Science Museum as one of his favorite experiences as a student of FDA VIII.
Principal Grandchamps addressed the class of 2020, “My dearest class of 2020, graduates of Frederick Douglas Academy VIII, I address you today as a principal who is saddened that she cannot be with her graduates personally, but super excited and proud of your accomplishments. I know you are headed to great things. I know that this is also not the way that you imagined your senior year going. We had grandiose plans for how we were going to celebrate the class of 2020 but, here we are facing our biggest challenge this year, facing a pandemic. We had to transition to staying home and not being able to give each other a hug or not being able to shake hands. My thoughts and prayers go out to anyone who has experienced any sickness and loss. This has been trying times for all to say the least. My thoughts and prayers are with you every day. It has been very difficult to be away from you my scholars seeing you every day gave me life. I miss you terribly. If a pandemic was not enough, we are now dealing with the injustice that surrounds the situation involving George Floyd and all that it symbolizes. Scholars you are up next to impact change. I believe that all of this is happening because it is time for change. Everything happens for a reason. I have often spoken to you about the power of your voice you are seeing this power with all the protests that have been occurring. We are tired of our schools being under funded, the lack of opportunities in the job force, inaccurate healthcare in our communities, we are tired of it all, I have seen so many young people exercising their voice for change in such a positive way. I know that the graduating class of 2020 has learned to use their voice as community activists. You would come to my office daily to voice what needed to be changed at FDA VIII, and there are definitely things that we have implemented at FDA VIII because of your voice. Remember that as you move into the next phase of your life and beyond. There are a lot of quotes around the school, but “If there is no struggle, then there is no progress and, all great things come with great work.”
A slide show of photos capturing some of the moments the students have shared during their middle school years was presented as well as photographs of each member of the graduating class in cap and gown.
Screenshots by Pamela Stern, DPS, FDA VIII’s Instagram, and Karin Montagne
If you would like to watch the full FDA VIII Virtual Graduation, please visit: capandgown.live/fdaviii