On July 25, ULYP held its fifth Celebration of Education for our Bridge graduates. ULYP class of 2019 broke the record with 32% of the 94 graduates completing degrees with distinction, high distinction or top of faculties.
With standing ovation, Ricardo Karam was this year’s keynote speaker whose words were inspirational to the students and audience at large: “Today, I want to talk to you about what time gives you in return: I want to talk to you about stories. Stories: the most precious things we carry with us – not just as individuals, but as communities, nations, and cultures…As I set out to tell my own story, I’ve realized that heroes and heroines didn’t always work under the spotlight. Many of them, in fact, work in silence. You are the heroes and heroines, you must tell your stories…The Arab world is thirsty for role models. We need people to make us believe that a brighter future awaits us. That we are still allowed to dream. As you build your own futures, you have the opportunity to build, along with them, the futures of every country.”
Two graduates then took the stage and addressed the audience of donors, board members and friends of ULYP with powerful and touching words:
“I believed in the mission that educating young women from the Middle East is the key to making it a better place to live. It was weird for people to accept that idea that a girl is traveling by herself to study abroad, and for what, trying to pursue a degree in the medical field and destroy her social life in the process… I wanted to change people’s perspective towards girls and women like me. Education has no limits! My gender or some oblivious social constraints should not be a cause for stopping me from fulfilling my dream.” Wardah Al Akrah, Manhattanville College BS Biology & BA Psychology (minor), Class of 2019
“I would like to congratulate my fellow graduates and friends on their success and ULYP on their continuous achievements… As a Palestinian girl, I was aware enough of the importance of education, and getting a degree was my purpose in life… the power of knowledge is the only way to survive and reach anywhere in this life, especially as a refugee… My motto in life is to never give up, believe in yourself, challenge yourself, and at the same time own your weaknesses as long as you are working on making weakness your strength. Finally, wherever the flow takes you, you will be fine as long as you have the will to reach.” Rama Al Hindi, LAU BBA Business Administration, Class of 2019
Thank you to our wonderful donors and to everyone who attended this ceremony. Without your contributions and support, this success could not be possible.