Moving stories told at graduation event

LAST night I attended as a guest, the graduation ceremony of the Pestalozzi International Baccalaureate Diploma students at the Sussex Coast College, Hastings (IB2s).

It was attended by the High Sheriff of East Sussex Mr David Allam and his wife, the Hastings Mayor Councillor Alan Roberts and his wife, members of the Sussex Coast College, Pestalozzi Trust and other honoured guests.

I attended with my husband and we were very moved by the students with their memories of the last two years struggle to complete this academically challenging and balanced programme. A tear or two needed to be wiped away.

They have overcome so many obstacles to enable them to study and to gain qualifications which will set them up for further studies.

The Pestalozzi principle of improving the head, the heart and the hands works.

The Pestalozzi organisation and the fantastic support of it’s sponsors, hosts, mentoring staff and Sussex Coast College staff and tutors all work together to produce such brilliant students.

We were given five beautifully spoken presentations of memories of five of the students, I congratulate them on their confidence, eloquence and humour, it is not easy standing in front of a large audience which includes your peers.

The programme was conducted by student Darpan Bohara who managed to keep things flowing even though the programme was amended part way through. Not an easy job.

During the presentation of the individual certificates we were told of the truly impressive list of university offers to the IB2s again this year - five at Jacobs in Germany, three at Stanford (more than any other organisation in the UK), one each at Bucknell, Georgetown, Duke, MIT and Earlham College, although the latter is a partial scholarship only.

Two other students have received partial offers that require a substantial contribution if they were to be accepted so it is unlikely that they will be able to take them up unless sponsorship could be found for them.

I ask, is there a local body that would like to be a sponsor?

After the presentation of certificates the evening finished with a compilation video of the graduates moments of relaxation and a song sung by the year one students.

Sue Walton, chief executive of Pestalozzi, gave the closing address and her pride of the students was very evident.

Our congratulations to everybody involved.

Julie and Cliff Willard

Top Cross Road