Charlestown-Nevis-Mr. Ramie Gumbs appeared cool, calm, composed and totally unruffled, as he stood at the podium to deliver his grand inaugural speech.
The occasion was the graduation ceremony of the Cicely Browne Integrated School which took place at the school’s premises on Monday 26th June 2017.
Gumbs who had previously spent a few years incarcerated at her majesty’s prison, was given a second chance to redeem himself, by Minister of Social Development, the Hon. Hazel Brandy- Williams and has since established himself as a key worker and second in command, at the Communications Department within her ministry.
He has certainly proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, that some persons, when given a second lease on life, can grab the opportunity with both hands and make it work for the good of the community.
In addressing the four graduates of the school on that day, Gumbs noted that it certainly was a different feeling being on the other end of the camera (as he normally does quite a bit of camera work).
He also noted that he had been longing to say something for a long time and said it with gusto, to the amusement of his captive audience: “Madam Chair, please allow me to adopt the protocol which you have so ably established”.
He then spoke to the young graduates. He impressed on them that they were not only the focus of everyone’s attention but that they were just as important as any other student at any other school’s graduation ceremony.
“Your dreams can become reality, if you only try,” he told them.
He then outlined four goals that they should set themselves as they continued their educational journey:
- Acknowledge that you are moving into a bigger school, with more challenges; more students and a bigger environment
- Embrace the challenges; make right decisions and accept the results with a positive attitude. Do not wait until you go to your new school to start cultivating positive attitudes. Be respectful to your teachers and fellow students, while seeking to be punctual and being able to accept discipline.
- Learn new things. The key to learning is WILLINGNESS-10% ability and 90% willingness means that you have the potential and the capability to learn. Where there is a will, there is a way. Pay attention in class; listen well; take notes and ask questions.
- Complete your educational journey. Make it your business to complete the journey despite the obstacles and challenges. Never quit.
He then turned his attention to the parents and commenced by congratulating them as regards what they have done so far, in order to assist their children on their educational journey but reminded them that they now have to continue to assist on the upcoming phase of the journey.
“You have to be their counselor, motivator and friend,” he stated.
He then concluded by addressing the teachers. He thanked them for their commitment, dedication, zeal, passion, effort, sacrifice and patience, over the years and wished them well in their future endeavours.
The full speech was later posted on his Facebook page and up to Tuesday 4th July, had received some 220 positive reactions.
Among those making a comment was the lady who had initially given him that critical second chance-Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams.
‘All we need in life is a chance to redeem yourself. Great job Ramie
Words cannot express how extremely proud I am of him. We gave him a second chance and to date I have absolutely no regrets. He presently works in the communications unit under my Ministry. All we need in this life is a chance to redeem ourselves,’ she posted.
Ramie Gumbs is also utilizing his time, mentoring students and even older youths and impressing upon them that going to prison is not worth it and seeking to help them to set their priorities in the right place.