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On behalf of Umah’s Day Care, I heartily welcome all of you for this Annual Day Celebration! I could see a unique and talented mix of students and the parents who made this happen, have come to us from every corner of the city. In the coming days and weeks, you will start building lifelong friendships for those who are joining us; you will begin classes and you will start to explore ways to fill out your days and evenings – the less tangible part of your education here which are nothing but the student experience.
And for those who are parting us, we ensure that our relationship will stay continued again for the next few years with some co-curricular activities that we have planned here. Aside from the outstanding education you will receive at Umahs’ Day Care, I can tell you from personal experience that for Umahs’ Pre school graduates, it is overwhelmingly the student experience that stays with us the longest.
Having started at Umahs’ Day Care, and being a few years into my term as Principal, I envy you and where you are in your lives; I think back very fondly to my first days as a Pre-School graduate years ago when, like many of you, I arrived with a new world of possibilities, friendships, educational experiences and extra-curricular opportunities lying in front of me. Hundreds of Umahs’ day care students commit time, energy and talent across the City every year, and this engagement and volunteerism has always set us apart.
I strongly encourage you to get involved. As many of you know already, the institution is immensely gratifying to help and support a fellow human being and make their lives better. I also urge you children and parents as a community to be formed to be respectful and are – of the community — to personify the Institutions’s vision as an inclusive and positive environment that celebrates equality and diversity. Freedom of speech and thought, and the processes of analysis and criticism are at the heart of this and every good Institution.
Ideas are born and are challenged; some survive and grow; others die. In that spirit, I am going to ask you to do two things this year that may take you outside your comfort level. The first is to experiment with your courses; do stretch yourself and take something that is unfamiliar or challenging-who knows what new doorways this will open for you, or what new way of seeing the world. The second is on a personal level: Some residents who live nearby, at times, been subjected to destructive behavior by a small minority of students.
Unfortunately, an inappropriate behavior of a few can affect the reputation of our country, locally and beyond, and potentially tarnish the value of your degree. I urge you to make safe and responsible decisions about what you do and where you go every day and every night out. I personally expect that you will honour the Student Code of Conduct and respect the rights and values of our neighbours. Finally, I know life is busy and there is a lot of work to be done, people to see and places to be, but remember to take time for yourself and take care of yourself.
There are many supports and services available if you ever need them. We want you to thrive and succeed here, academically, socially and personally. It is a great pleasure as Principal to welcome you all to the beginning of your lifelong association with Umahs, Day Care and I hope to meet many of you in this year of our journey. I wish you all the best for an exciting and rewarding, challenging and stimulating years in this institution, which will be the start of what I hope will be a lifelong experience as members of the Umahs’ family. Thank you.