Hyderabad, India and Mombasa, Kenya, 25 May 2019 – At graduations in India and Kenya, 159 exceptional students joined other alumni in marking the milestone of the 1000th leader to graduate from the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad (India) and its sister school, the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa (Kenya).
One key mission of the Aga Khan Academies programme is to create ethical leaders who work towards a shared goal of improving the lives of people in their own countries and across the globe. The Academies work to create a learning community that is exceptionally diverse, open-minded, culturally rooted and driven to make a positive impact, placing great importance on identifying and nurturing exceptional young people from a wide range of nationalities, religions, and ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
Salim Bhatia, Director of Academies, addressed the graduating cohort as “beacons of hope,” those who are “putting into practice what you have learned as members of the Aga Khan Academies about the values we hold dear, including pluralism, ethics and civic engagement.”
In Mombasa, the Graduation Ceremony’s Chief Guest was well-known Kenyan singer-songwriter and activist Eric Wainaina. During his speech, Mr. Wainaina encouraged the graduates to create their own paths for the future, regardless of whether they went against the norm.
“[Life is] too short for you to miss having the impact that God put you on this planet for,” said Mr. Wainaina.“Be adventurous, be bold and don’t take no for an answer. And parents, let’s throw our kids in the cockpit, and let’s say to them ‘let’s fly.’”
“Your responsibility, as smart people, is to be involved in the issues of the day,” said Sam Pickens, Deputy Director of Communications for the Aga Khan Development Network, who was the Chief Guest at the Graduation Ceremony in Hyderabad. “To do this effectively, you must have the leadership skills, the wisdom and the knowledge… to make the decisions that impact the lives of millions of people… Society is best served when it provides the space and the means for human beings to reach their fullest potential, regardless of their background…This school is therefore a means for you – and society at large – to reach both your – and its – full potential.”
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