The College held its 16th Graduation Ceremony on the 11th July and the auspicious occasion transformed the campus into a lavish venue, attended by friends, family members, College governors and staff. Approximately 150 students graduated from higher education and Access courses and celebrated in style with their ‘I Did It’ attitude.
Special guests at the graduation ceremony included The Worshipful Mayor of Waltham Forest Cllr Christopher Robbins CBE, Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith and guest performers which included the winner of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, Colin Thackery and The London Community Gospel Choir (LCGC), who performed during at the Brit Awards this year and supported acts such as the 1975 and Pink.
Guest speaker, Lou Mycroft took to the stage as she inspired the audience with her message themed ‘Joy’. Lou, a facilitator, writer, public speaker and working-class single parent from South Yorkshire commented during her speech saying: “You’ve got to look inside yourself to find your silver lining sometimes. I hope you can always carry-on in the joy of tonight’s celebration”.
Principal, Dr. Joy Kettyle said; “This is the pinnacle event of the year where everything we have all worked towards comes together. There is nothing I enjoy more than celebrating great achievements and today I am proud to be able to congratulate all our graduates and their remarkable journey.”
Students shared their stories on how they overcome personal barriers to learning and how the College has supported their journey to pursue the next stage of their career.
Students’ Union President and valedictorian, Nancy Kuforiji delivered a powerful and emotional speech, she said: “This is not just a graduation ceremony but a dream that has taken me 15 years to pursue. Unfortunately, I never had this opportunity when I was younger for reasons beyond my control. Waltham Forest College gave me a second chance to improve my life-chances and today I can confidently look back and say it was one of the best decisions ever.”
Nancy, concluded her speech by saying: “Congratulation to all of us all for making it this far; also a greater well done on the ability to bounce back on your feet despite all the obstacles and challenges faced when making that crucial decision to further our education”.
Waltham Forest College has demonstrated a consistent improvement in the achievement of its students since 2016, with achievement for HE reaching the highest this year at 90%.