‘Prepare for Future Challenges’


A Liberian businesswoman in the petroleum industry has urged graduates in the country to pursue their dream and prepare themselves for future challenges.

Mrs. Esther Griffths-Neufville, chief executive officer (CEO) of Nexium Petroleum Limited, made the assertion Saturday, June 14, when she served as keynote speaker at the 6th graduation convocation of the Child Development Academy (CDA).

The program was held at the P.A’s RIBHOUSE, in Lakpazee, Airfield shortcut.

According to her, challenges are something that will never go away but as students, “You must use them as encouragements to move forward in your educational and life’s journey.”

Mrs. Neufville told the 10 CDA graduates that true success would only be defined based on how they handle life: both negative and positive.

“It will be easy to allow those challenges to become bitter and allow those feeling to warm and prevent you from having any of these successes in life,” she declared.

The petroleum businesswoman said, though some of the graduates consider her as a role model but added that her accomplishments did not come about by accident but by careful planning and lot of hard work.

“I took in me my skills along with the purposes for the future than I planned to see that the future come true; not everything happened exactly as I planned and life does not work that way,” she stated.

Starting today, Mrs. Neufville told the graduates that they will have new decisions to make regarding their future, “You have already been researching your options, ‘will I go to college, how far, how I study, will I start my own business, will I be President,’ all of these are valid questions but only you can provide the answers that are right for you.”

Mrs. Neufville emphasized that Life most time doesn’t follow the plan one lays out for oneself. Experiences of high and low are always around.

Giving the overview of the institution, Ms. Mydea Ellen White said the Child Development Academy (CDA), is solely a Liberian-owned private school that strives to ensure the success of every child, who enters her institution.

Ms. White said the driving force behind the establishment of the institution was to provide quality education to children in a manner that was innovative and up to current standardized practices around the world.

“We wanted to encourage parents, especially Liberian parents, to prioritize and invest in the education of their children and for us to be able to show them concrete results in the shortest possible time,” she added.

CDA first opened her doors in November 1997 at the former British School, location on Smythe Road in Liberia.

At that time, Ms. White said she was accepting students from age 18 months to sixth grade.

“We remained at the Smythe Road location for four years and then moved to our current location on 16th Street in Sinkor in September of 2001. We have continued to grow and today, we run a program that covers students from age 18 months up to the 12th grade. We graduated our first seniors in June 2009.”

Today, “We have a staff of 80 trained and efficient persons and a student body of over 230 children. We have small class sizes with no more than 12 students per session in our core curricular classes. We boast of two student computer labs with internet access and an updated science laboratory. We have over 25 classrooms and have plans to continue expanding our facilities which we now own,” she stated.

Meanwhile, the 10 graduates, who are all below age 18, have promised to obtain degrees in Business, Computer Engineering, Finance, Geology and Mining, Engineering, Gynecology, Maritime Engineering, Professional Footballer, Medical Practitioner, etc.


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