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Speech delivered by Carolyn Trench Sandiford on June 26, 2020 at John Paul II JC Commencement exercise
July 1, 2020
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Graduates of John Paul II Junior College called to lead transformational change amidst global pandemic

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Posted: Wednesday, July 1, 2020. 10:45 am CST.

By BBN Staff: On Friday, June 26, 2020, the 6th commencement exercises were held for John Paul II Junior College in Benque Viejo del Carmen.

The ceremony was held at the main campus on Chapel Hill.

The celebration opened with the Liturgy of Thanksgiving celebrated by the college’s chancellor, Fr. Beau Schweitzer, SOLT.

Dean David N. Ruiz presented the annual report after which 16 young men and women received associate degrees in Liberal Arts, with concentrations in English, Theology & Catechetics, and Business Administration.

The Thomas Aquinas Award was given to Doris Concepcion Tut with the highest cumulative GPA, while the John Paul II Award was bestowed upon Jason Uck for academic excellence, voluntarism & community service.

Social advocate, Carolyn Trench-Sandiford, delivered the keynote address to the graduates.

Trench-Sandiford referred to how COVID-19 has changed and exposed our landscape as a nation-state with rising poverty, increased national debt, and “blatant pre-existing economic and social disparity.”

The annihilation of one industry,  she added, has brought our economy to its knees, and our lifeline to survive are now loans and the benevolence of other countries.  Trench-Sandiford challenged the graduates to live up to the call to deliverance, knowing well that others may reap what they are to plant.

“As Generation Z,” she said, “you now have the opportunity to  build on what has worked, and can work, and fully embrace a new form of thinking in order to respond to, adapt and pro-act to our unique development challenges, and ultimately, to bring about the future we desire.”

She closed by prompting the graduates to lead the transformational revolution to make the ideals of our Constitution real, particularly for the most vulnerable and the marginalized (Trench-Sandiford’s speech can be read in its entirety at BBN.

John Paul II Junior College is a liberal art institution founded in 2013.

In its purpose to provide a wholesome humanistic formation, it seeks to build bridges of collaboration through social & community outreach.

The college is characterized by an organic core curriculum involving Philosophy, Theology, the Humanities including World History and Belizean Studies, and Trivium with emphasis in the “Great Books” program. A requisite for graduation is the completion of the Outdoor Leadership Adventure (OLA) held at Baldy Beacon in Mountain Pine Ridge.

The call for applications for its new academic year will be closing on Friday, July 3, 2020.

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