Liberia: ‘Be Humble, Work Hard’



Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee urges BlueCrest graduates 

In the edifice of the magnificent cathedral of the Dominion Christian Fellowship Center, 40 members of the BlueCrest University College (BUC) class of 2023 heard the voice of a global peace icon and women and girls’ rights activist, Leymah Gbowee, urging them to cultivate the attitude of humility and hard work in order to lead a fulfilled and successful life.

As her powerful and soothing voice reverberated across the hall during the BlueCrest’s 7th commencement convocation, the 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate told the graduates and well-wishers to disregard the past, take action in the present and not be held back or fazed by uncertainty about what the future holds.

Speaking on the topic, “A Disrupted Dream Is Not a Dead Dream”, Gbowee told the graduates about her own life, which she said was consumed by a bleak outlook. Yet, she testified, she was never deterred.

“A little over two decades ago, I had nothing, virtually homeless, and a single mother of four children with no outlook on my future. My dream of becoming a medical doctor was shattered by the outbreak of the 1989 civil war,” Gbowee told the graduates.

The Liberian civil crisis practically disrupted her dream, but it never broke her and, despite the numerous challenges that life threw at her the ensuing years, she did not sway from the path of self-improvement.

Since she stepped onto the world stage as a Nobel Laureate about 12 years ago, she has endeavored to offer mentorship and scholarship opportunities to many young people across Liberia, Africa and beyond.

But the greatest joy throughout this journey, she said, has undoubtedly been the opportunity to help young people achieve their dreams by supporting them through their educational journeys.

“Your dreams might be disrupted, but they are not dead. You can still pursue them and reach your potential. The capability is within you to realize whatever you want for your life,” she said, adding that most young people are quick to lose focus. “We find it so easy to throw dreams away,” she said.  “But to be successful, there are certain things we need to do and do them in the right way.”

In what could be a takeaway, Gbowee outlined for the graduates a few virtues which, when inculcated in their lives, will propel them to unimaginable heights. She named these virtues or characteristics as service, humility, hard work, integrity, perseverance.

She also admonished them to cultivate the attitude of volunteerism, which helps build the spirit of service to humanity and also serve as a source of acquiring new knowledge and skills that could be very useful in the future.

“When I look back on my life and examine what influenced me most to be the person that I am today, there are a few that I can point to. Learn to volunteer, be humble and work hard,” she said. “My years of working as a volunteer when I was not paid a dime were profoundly influential.”

She said an invaluable lesson she has learned in life is humility, serving others and placing them before oneself is a character trait that helps you in a long way in life and your careers.

Some of the graduands of BlueCrest 7th graduating class

“Our young people these days don’t want to be humble and this is taking them nowhere. Arrogance does not pay. It pays to be humble,” she said. “One thing I learned very early on is that hard work pays off.

“The real world experiences,” she continued, “prepared me more for life than my actual college degree.”

Established since 2014, BlueCrest has contributed to the advancement of higher education and has been complemented, recognized and approved by very important people and by those offices of governance where merit and quality stand tall.

The president of the college, Dr. Umesh Neelakantan, said his institution has brought radical thoughts for more than three thousand learners to date through the opportunities created dominantly via information technology.

“Since its establishment, BlueCrest has imparted a mindset of progress among learners through different portfolios in Information technology,” Neelakantan said.

The college has evolved into advanced status of learning portfolios like Cloud computing, Cyber security, advanced Software programming, advanced Networking platform, Health Analytics, Data Science, Machine Learning and Deep learning technologies, big data analytics and many more.

“There will be no more constrained or secluded status for younger generations to think “what to study, where to study” etc. Because opportunities are immense,” the president told the audience at the ceremony.

The school’s Graduate studies program has also kick-off as the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) has accredited BlueCrest for offering Masters in Information Technology.

The college is also in the process of developing many inspiring learning portfolios and also widening the scope into Folk Arts, Handicrafts, Sports, Agriculture, and others.

BlueCrest President, Umesh Neelakantan, presents a gift to Madam Gbowee

“We are also in the process of collaborating with global MNCs and highly reputed Universities across the world for advanced and value-added programs,” Neelakantan said.

Meanwhile, BlueCrest has additional established wings in research, projects, consultancy, corporate training etc.

The college has three different levels - Graduate Studies (offering undergraduate and graduate programs), Openlabs (Diploma in IT) and Fashion and Design (Fashion programs) and they all run different established learning portfolios with the backup of powerful intellectual capital.

The Corporate training wing in BlueCrest is closely associated with ministries, NGOs, private organizations for conducting various capacity building training programs.