Liberia: 15-year-old school speaker defends people with disabilities – Front page Africa | WHs Answers

M. Success S. Hardy speaks at the graduation program

Monrovia – The program was for Grace & Glory Academy – a Kindergarten through 6th grade educational facility – located at 2nd Street, Sinkor, Monrovia. The school is located just a few meters from the headquarters of the Monrovia City Government, popularly known as the Monrovia City Corporation.


From Samuel G Dweh, +231 (+231) 886618906/776583266/[email protected], [email protected])


The program was the 13th Graduation Ceremony, held on Sunday, July 17, 2022.

Prior to the main program, Ms. Success S. Hardy (6th grade), born in 2007, posed with her birth mother (who has a deformed leg) and the principal outside of the venue for a photo shoot.

“My disability began when I was one year old,” said Madam Deborah Hardy, born in 1985, to this author. But she couldn’t remember what caused the “semicircular shape” of her left leg.

The disabled mother also shared with this author what she did to raise money for her daughter’s education.

“I sold cookies, cold water and lots of other little little things to get the money my daughter needs to gain knowledge,” she said.

She also spoke about the perceptual blocks of several able-bodied people that she encountered when looking for a job before becoming self-employed.

“Most of the people I met to hire me or get me a job told me bluntly that I will not be on time for work because of my leg, which causes me to walk slowly,” she recalled .

She is a member of the National Union of Organizations of the Disabled (NUOD), a private, advocacy and empowerment national independent organization of people with disabilities. She is also a member of a group of disabled women who network for economic empowerment and mentoring.

In the hall (the preaching department of the church that owns the school) there was a raucous chaos of sounds of clashing lids on pots and other metal objects from overwrought parents, and the program’s master of ceremonies constantly shouted at loitering parents (and photographed their children) to return to their seats .

“Many people in our world today are speaking out loud that a person with a disability or a person with physical disabilities cannot achieve higher education or academic excellence,” Ms. Success S. Hardy reminded the group of students, parents and guests during the Indoor event program after presenting the topic of her lecture – “Disability is not disability” – and paying tribute to various personalities who were present.

“Success” at anything, the 15-year-old spokesman continued, is based on a person’s thoughts and actions, not the person’s physical condition.

“As the Holy Bible says, ‘With God all things are possible’, meaning anyone suffering from such a condition should put their trust and hope in God to obtain whatever they desire.” she said, rolling her eyes around the hall.

She came into the deformed physical condition of her birth mother.

“My mother, with a disabled morphology, has the ability to place her trust in God and receive whatever she desires for the financial sustenance and prosperity of our family,” she said, glancing at her mother, who was sitting in the front row .

“According to philosophers,” she continued, “if he or she imagines, believes, and works, every man or woman will get what he or she desires.”

Going back to the biblical path, the youthful speaker said, “The Holy Bible says, ‘As a man thinks, so shall he become’.”

Explaining the Bible quote, Ms. Hardy said: “It means that if you have the mind to think, your physical condition is not the problem. It is the inability to think that causes the inability to succeed.”

In the concluding part of her speech, Ms. Hardy urged everyone in the hall to “trust God first and keep thinking and having good thoughts leading to imagination, faith and attainment.”

“Main while,” she got to the last line of words, “disability isn’t disability,” she repeated, kneeling down and saying, “thank you.”

A school official told this author that student Success S. Hardy was chosen to speak for the 13th graduation set based on the “sensitivity and universal message in her presented “subject” from dozens of subjects from different students in the class.” 6.

“You know, disability is the hottest topic in every part of the world,” the school official explained the school administration’s selection of Ms. Hardy’s submitted speech.

There were other inspirational oral performances from other students and hilarious reactions from their parents and others listening to them.

Some of the presentations were: Praise & Worship by a group of students from different grades; “Rivers of Liberia” (and the counties in which they are located) by Mircle T. Wollor, age 6 (6th grade); “Fifteen Counties of Liberia and Their Capitals” by Stevens A. Sonnia, age 7; “What Makes a Good School” by Jenneh N. Konneh (age 5) from Kindergarten 2 grade.

A group of students gave a presentation on careers (teacher, nurse, etc.); another group presents on “Bible Verses”

The oral presentation that drew the most ovations and applause was a rap by 11-year-old 5th grade student Prosper V. Ciaffa. His lyrics were mainly about the incomparable status of his school in comparison to all other schools in Sinkor and the joy of the students in the teaching methods of the teachers.

“The title of my rap is ‘School Is Too Magical,'” Mr. Ciaffa told me during a brief chat outside the hall after the show.

The students were awarded for the best uniform, punctuality in class and other qualities.

“For every new level there is a new devil – a challenge,” stated Mr. Bright Chimezu Onywkwere, resident pastor of Grace & Glory International Church, owner of the school, in the closing remarks for Rev. Caesar B. Snyder – school owner/principal and senior pastor of Grace & Glory International Church, owner of Grace & Glory Academy.

According to the student who read the history of the school, Grace & Glory Academy was founded in 2007, started with 44 students, started tuition free of charge, but the administrative authority later began charging school fees to buy stationery and pay the teaching staff The student population increased at a higher rate. The current student enrollment is 126, the student added.

The graduation mood continued at student Success S. Hardy’s home on 24th Street, Monrovia.

Deafening music came from a stereo set in front of plastic chairs.

A man in a yellow long-sleeved shirt, long pants and shoes danced madly with an elderly woman to a local song playing from the music box.

He was later joined by the celebrant’s mother in a silk blouse and slacks and they danced together.

The dancers were watched by the celebrant and her father, Mr. Michael Hardy, and their neighbors. The graduate wore a white t-shirt with a photo of her in a graduation cap (front) and her motivational comment – “I have vision despite my mother’s physical condition” – on the back of the t-shirt.

The celebrant’s school reports lay on a table in front of a huge plastic banner with a photograph of her in school uniform.

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