By Kemi Yesufu
Inventor and one of the founding fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, once said, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” This must have been thinking of parents who sent their children to one of Nigeria’s leading educational institutions, Brookstone Foundation School.
With the joyful looks on parents faces on Thursday June 21, the day Brookstone School held the maiden graduation of its International Foundation Year (IFY) programme at its Abuja study centre, it was clear to see that the investment they made in their children had yielded much gain.
Cross Section of Graduands
Brookstone is in partnership with Northern Consortium of United Kingdom Universities (NCUK) and offers an International Foundation Year (IFY) programme leading to guaranteed admission into over 30 universities in United Kingdom, Australia and the United States of America
All graduating students have already gained admission into different universities in the United Kingdom, majority offered admission from three universities abroad at the same time, especially in the U.K.
It therefore was understandable, the confidence and sense of fulfillment displayed by the grandaunts on their special day. One of the award winners from the programme , Oluwafunsho Olajide, while speaking at the ceremony said the Brookstone Study Centre turned him and members of his set to “shining stars.”
“We have all received a great education. Yes, during the period of our stay in Brookstone, we underwent rigorous transformation that has resulted in our becoming shining stars that would shine even brighter as we look to take-on the world.
“The feat was no wishful thinking. It did not just happen. It took tons of inspiration and perspiration on our part , the students, our diligent teachers, the ever-supportive management and our incredibly caring and optimistic parents”, Olajide said .
Still describing their school brightly, another award- winner in the IFY 2018 set, Hafiz Abdulkareem, said his time in Brookstone School will remain a landmark in his academic journey.
“This is mainly because of the exceptional individuals I was fortunate to come across during my stay here, the challenges we had to overcome and the moments we made makes it so hard to believe we were only here for some months.
” Brookstone International Foundation Year has so many interesting things about it, but what made it for me, were the individuals I met here, who over the past few months have found a permanent spot in my heart. The people in front of me are men and women of exceptional character. The faces I see in front of me today are people who have the capability and eagerness to take the world by storm and to do the one thing that truly matters which is going out into the world and breaking uncommon records.
“In front of me today, I see indefatigable lawyers ,innovative engineers , successful entrepreneurs, world class medical practitioners and smart professionals who will lead others onto career pathways. I see people who have gone through thick and thin to achieve this academic glory and do not succumb to challenges easily.
“People who are able to go into the world for what it is today and conquer it. people who although are within my age group have taught me valuable lessons and have acted as role models to me”, Abdukareem said.
Again selecting to describe the himself and fellow grandaunts in glowing terms, an excited Abdukareem added: “I am grateful to our ever loving and supportive parents who never let us settle for less. To Brookstone graduating students, in the word of Rihanna, you should all go out and shine like diamonds because although we are done, what is ahead of us is far greater, far more challenging but far more rewarding.”
Chairman Board of Governors – Mr Kalada Apiafi – giving an address during graduation ceremony
As expected, the management of Brookstone Schools was as excited as the successful students and their parents . Chairman of Governing Board of the school, Mr. Kalada Apiafi, said the students deserved to be celebrated.
He said: ” I am sure that you are proud of what your children have been able to achieve in the last nine months as ‘A’ level.
“The graduating students are making history today as the first set of graduates of Abuja centre. Four students are also making history as our first set of January to June stream .
“All students have shown a high level of discipline, academic excellence, initiative, self confidence, diligence and teamwork , consequently, they all had a minimum of three admission offers from universities of their choice.
“Additional, one scholarship of 50 percent tuition from university of Sheffield has been confirmed for Oluwafunso Olajide and we are confident that others will receive scholarship of varying degrees in the next few weeks”.
Apiafi urged members of the Brookstone IFY 2018 set to move into future with confidence and enthusiasm.
He said: “Today marks the beginning of the next phase of your lives. We are proud of you and are sure you will be worthy ambassadors of the school and your families .By way of advice I’d like to refer you to a commentary on wisdom by Michael Josephson, founder of the Joseph and Edna Josephson institute of Ethics:
“You will be as happy as you are willing to be; choose to be happy. Have fun and enjoy your life, but never confuse fun or pleasure with happiness .
“Never let your happiness or sense of self-worth depend on someone else’s love or approval. Pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice .
“How you deal with what happens to you is more important than what happens to you.
“Real friends make you feel good about yourself but encourage you to be even better. It’s not just what you say , do, or intend, but how you make people feel that is most important. Failure is not a fact ; it’s a perspective. Find the lesson in every setback and you’ll never fail.
” It’s never wrong to admit you were wrong; no one is always right. Don’t let grudges or resentments ruin your life or your day; let go, forget , move on”.
The Brookstone Centre which has four streams: Engineering, Sciences, Business and Humanities in 2016 and 2017, won the ” Best Academic Global Award”, out the 35 NCUK Centres located across the world including in countries such as China, Malaysia, Canada, Thailand, Japan, United Kingdom and Ireland.