On Wednesday 26 May 2021, Lyford Cay International School (LCIS) held a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021, the school’s 16th high school graduating class, and the first class to graduate from the school’s new Upper School campus. The ceremony followed health and safety protocols and was held outdoors on the Sarofim Lawn at the Upper School campus.
The 19 graduates have been accepted into 53 universities, 15 of which are ranked in the top 100 of the world according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Some of the universities on the list include King’s College London (UK), University College London (UK), University of Edinburgh (UK), Boston University (USA), New York University (USA), University of California, Berkeley (USA), University of Southern California (USA), University of Washington (USA), University of Wisconsin (USA), University of Toronto (Canada) and the University of British Columbia (Canada).
In total, the graduates have been offered more than $689,000 in scholarships to attend university, due in great part to the rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes they have completed at LCIS.
For Grades 11 and 12, LCIS offers four pathways to graduation, two of which are the IB Diploma Programme (DP) and the IB Career-Related Programme (CP). The DP is seen as the gold standard for high school education around the world, and students who complete the programme are highly sought after by top universities. The CP incorporates the same high-quality academic courses of the DP with a greater focus on building career skills during the high school years. CP students carry out internships and receive professional qualifications while completing their academic courses. Current focus areas available to CP students at LCIS include finance, music, aviation, boat captaincy, environmental studies and more.
This year’s graduation speaker was His Excellency Ambassador Denis Antoine, a career diplomat, educator and author, who previously served as Ambassador to the UN from Grenada. Joining the ceremony virtually, the ambassador encouraged the graduates to take their place in the world as ambassadors of their families and Lyford Cay International School. He challenged them to take pride in their youth and to make use of the critical-thinking and leadership skills they gained in their years of study at LCIS in order to address the many problems the world faces in the 21st Century: “Take ownership of your future now. Focus on how you wish to contribute to shaping the future you want. Not the future only from an adult’s perspective or vision, but a future inclusive of your youthful ambition, vision and insights as incoming leaders of the world.”
Graduates of the Class of 2021 have shown great resilience in their efforts to complete their studies and IB exams, continuing with their learning through periods of virtual and blended learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Co-Valedictorian Julia Cheng, in a joint address to the class with Co-Valedictorian Nicolas Lopez, highlighted the importance of balance and mental wellbeing while pursuing academic excellence, stating, “It is okay to not always be strong, [but] that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be ambitious and hardworking…When I was committing to my university, the question that took precedence over all others was: ‘Where will I be happy?’”
LCIS works to ensure that each graduate finds a post-secondary path that best fits him or her. Students regularly meet with a university and career counsellor throughout their high school years to determine their strengths and interests, as well as where in the world they would most like to study after graduation.