Graduation Fall Semester 2023

December 9, 2023  •  Author: marketing

Celebrate endings — for they precede new beginnings. — Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Graduation: A new day is dawning

Suitcases unpacked, study rooms bustling with students—what does it mean? It has officially been a week since the start of the new semester at Cumorah Academy! Alvaro Godoy penned these words about the first week of the semester, reflecting on the initial week of the Fall Semester. The onset of the Fall Semester is brimming with excitement as students eagerly forge new friendships, attend classes, and strive to recall everyone’s name. Some might ponder, ‘These will be the best days of my life so far.’ However, those days have now drawn to a close. Initially, students were preoccupied with unpacking and arranging their bags and luggage. Now, with graduation, the journey is complete.

Now, they efficiently stow away their clothes and books. Albeit with a hint of reluctance, they barely shed a tear. Hopefully, they will not only pack away memories and lessons from mentors and leaders but also carry these experiences forward. It is unlikely that they will keep such valuable lessons to themselves; rather, they will share the light and hope they experienced on campus, allowing those around them to savor a glimpse of what Cumorah Academy represents.

Graduation’s impact

Graduation is a milestone at Cumorah, for a couple of reasons: First, it shows students how far they have come and inspires them to pursue higher dreams. An old proverb states, ‘Celebrate endings, for they precede new beginnings.’ It is a day to ponder what they have achieved and reflect on their next decisions.

The winners of the House Cup.

About graduating, one of our students, Veronika from Ukraine, says, “I felt sad because I knew that such a wonderful time was going to finish so soon, but at the same time, I was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Cumorah for three months.” Secondly, throughout the semester, the House Cup competition took place, where groups earned points. During the graduation ceremony, all accumulated points will be tallied, and the group with the highest score will be declared the winner. A sense of suspense and excitement permeated the entire campus. What group would take a picture holding the coveted trophy?

Lastly, messages will be delivered by assigned students, staff members, and our dear Academic Director, Iain Saunders. All these moments are part of Cumorah culture.

What they say

Naturally, each student has a different goal. That influences how they manage their time and approach mentors and teachers. Consequently, they will bring all they have learned and pondered about during the ceremony. “For me at graduation, I discovered that the end of one chapter marks the exciting beginning of countless new adventures. Post-graduation, my vision is clear to turn dreams into reality and embrace the challenges that lead to personal, professional, and spiritual growth,” says Nicolas Rodrigues, one of our Brazilian students. 

Tracy and Kelly Shepherd were wonderful for Cumorah Academy. They are recognized in the Graduation.

Another student from Italy, Giancarlo Egas, has shared specific skills he intends to use in the future. “After graduation, my primary goal is to enhance my management skills in my daily routine and seek better career opportunities. I aim to utilize the knowledge and skills acquired during my academic journey to secure a job where I can apply my expertise, particularly in English.” He also decided to use his spiritual beliefs to significantly contribute to the community he lives. “Above all, I hope to bring all that love that I learned at Cumorah to be useful in helping others, since the people at the academy taught me the value of being a ‘GIVER’ instead of a ‘TAKER’ and finding joy in doing that,” he concludes.

Faith, Brightness, and the Future

We hope each student has been positively impacted by their period with us. They come from different backgrounds and for different reasons. Some came to pursue a certificate to expand their horizons. Others came to boost their confidence and overcome language barriers. Some came for educational purposes. Others came for social purposes – to make new friends and expand social networks.

Iain Saunders, the Academy’s director (first picture), and Patrick Sedivy, Cumorah’s founder, said a few words to encourage our students.

Whatever the main reason someone decides to enroll at Cumorah, one thing is for sure about Cumorah Academy: It is a place for belonging. We are simultaneously building a global family with all our students. They will forever be part of our hearts and history. They will leave carrying part of us with them, and we will keep part of them with us. The future is still uncertain, even for Cumorah’s alumni. It is still filled with shortcomings, flaws, danger, and darkness. But we believe in the power of our students to let their light shine, allowing others to feel it. They will change the world for sure.

This graduation ceremony is a sign of hope and confidence. Even facing uncertainty, they know their future is as bright as their faith (Monson, October 2009). Yes, we miss them. Yes, we cried a lot this graduation. Yes, we wish we could keep them forever. But they are meant to fly away and spread their wings. They will magnify their talents and use what they learned as a compass for their decisions. As we conclude this cycle, there are no better words to convey our feelings than those by Mahatma Gandhi

“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.”

Written by Fernando Ferreira Jr.