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Triumph Over Adversity: Valedictorian of UEW Class of 2023 Reflects on Inspirational Journey

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Published: Sat, 01/27/2024 - 15:08

In a moving valedictory speech, the valedictorian of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Class of 2023, Mr. Richard Badu, has shared an inspiring tale of resilience, determination, and triumph over financial adversity.

Addressing the graduating class, Mr. Richard Badu, expressed heartfelt gratitude, saying, "I am truly honoured to address you on this special occasion and deliver the valedictory speech on behalf of the graduating class of 2023. Becoming the valedictorian of the 28th Congregation of our esteemed university was a dream I never envisioned when I first stepped foot within the revered gates of this institution."

The valedictorian, who worked as a bus conductor for four years to overcome financial constraints, highlighted the challenges faced during their academic journey. Despite receiving financial sponsorship from the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat in the second year, additional financial burdens persisted. Undeterred, Mr. Richard Badu continued working as a bus conductor during semester breaks, demonstrating unwavering dedication to his education.

A cross-section of graduating students

Speaking about the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the valedictorian reminisced, "We were in the first year during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this compelled us to adapt to an unprecedented new normal." The transition to online learning, coupled with financial constraints on internet access, created additional hurdles. However, the graduating class persevered, adapting to the virtual environment, and overcoming technological challenges.

The valedictorian shared a personal story about having the most archaic laptop in his department, facing ridicule but triumphing over adversity. "Even today, this same laptop is serving a great purpose in my academic pursuit," he remarked.

Acknowledging the power of collective effort, the valedictorian highlighted the importance of study groups, particularly the Remanence study group he belonged to. "Some of us took the initiative to establish study groups to support ourselves. This experience not only honed our understanding of the subject matter but also deepened our communication skills," he stated.

The valedictorian receiving his cash prize from the Dean of Science Education, Prof. Victus Samlafo
The valedictorian (right) receiving his cash prize from the Dean of Science Education, Prof. Victus Samlafo

Mr. Richard Badu in his speech emphasised the role of faith and gratitude, giving thanks to theĀ university management, faculty members, heads of department, and a special mention to his supervisor, Dr. Desmond Appiah. He also expressed deep appreciation to family, friends, guardians, and classmates, recognising their unwavering support.

In concluding his speech, the valedictorian quoted Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, saying, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Encouraging fellow graduands to dream bravely, work assiduously, and remain staunch in their faith, the valedictorian left an indelible mark on the hearts of those present, celebrating not only personal success but the collective triumph of the Class of 2023.

The speech ended with resounding applause, marking the beginning of a new chapter for the graduates as they embark on their respective journeys, carrying the spirit of resilience and determination instilled during their time at UEW.

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