We’ve arrived at yet another installment of the Avinya Scoop and it’s a rather special one. We held the closing ceremony for the batch of IT vocational students that stayed behind with us after the first Empower program and this week they’ve finally flown away too. Geeth, whose heart holds these kids the closest, has some heartwarming words to share with us today.
At Avinya, Dreams do come true!
Six months ago, I began a new adventure in my life. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I eagerly accepted an offer from the Avinya Foundation. Do you know that special feeling when you start a new job? Well, that was me. I never imagined I could feel so content with my life. Since August, I’ve been experiencing the joy of changing lives, and for that, I am truly thankful! So after so much learning, UN-LEARNING, site visits, quizzes, assignments, laughter, tears and MOMENTS my lovely IT kiddos started preparing for their final day at the academy. So we planned to have a closing ceremony on 30th of January 2024. To tell you how excited my kids got, they started working on scripts, decorations, invitations, and performances from the end of November onwards. From checking scripts to planning the whole event, my friendly neighborhood superheroes Anju, Sin, Sandy, Ilma, Nalaka and my lovely educators helped me a lot!
The much-anticipated day finally arrived, and the event unfolded seamlessly. Up until the moment we all walked to the pond to take the group photo, I didn’t realize that this might be the last day I get to share and be with my kiddos. “Cheese!” Rosh said. The feeling started hitting me. One by one the thoughts and memories started rushing to my mind like an express train. The first time Irushika wrote an entire python code on the whiteboard, how yash started tearing up in front of me, how we played dog and the bone, how Dhanuja suggested the speaking club, how the boys had to do 10 jumping jacks for each bad word they say. Agh! That’s so unfair!, I thought. But then I remembered the famous saying by Winnie the pooh.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”
They will start their internships tomorrow. They will move forward with their lives. Fly high my kiddos. With that I will include a small extract from the speech I did at the closing ceremony.
And finally, I want to say to our students:
I would like to quote a Taylor swift lyric : How can a person know everything at 18 but nothing at 22?
It’s true right? I was recently catching up with some friends from high school, and we started chatting about what we’ve learned over the past decade, and how none of our lives have ended up on the path we had imagined on the last day of school life.
For an example my dreams changed as I grew. When I was a kid I wanted to become a pilot. But later I got to know I’m color blind. Then I wanted to become a scientist. Oh, that was so hard. I ended up getting selected to an IT degree and started loving it and then worked as an SE and then switched to education. Lord only knows what I will end up doing next.
It’s easy to think we’re capable of planning out our lives. That what we think we want to do when we’re in school is what is going to end up happening. But that’s not the case. Or it might be, but we shouldn’t pin all of our hopes on a single idea rather than being open to the weird paths and doors life creates and opens for us.
So my kids,
You have done us proud. You have worked hard and achieved a lot. You have shown us that you are not just gems, but diamonds. You have shown us that you are not just students, but leaders.
You are the future of Sri Lanka. You are the future of the world.
We are so proud of you.
Congratulations, and well done!
Thank you, Geeth, for that heartfelt entry; I needed to find some tissues before I started on my own. As we bid farewell to the last of our first Empower batch, it’s with bittersweet hearts that we all attended the IT closing ceremony.
A huge shoutout goes to our incredible partners – Hemas Group, Dialog Axiata PLC, Meu Labs and Adventa Holdings. We are deeply grateful for your help in empowering the next generation of IT professionals. Thank you to all our mentors who made the trek here to witness our IT kids flourish in their element, your guidance has been invaluable! We would also like to extend our gratitude to everyone who couldn’t physically be present but contributed with even a kind word. We couldn’t have reached this milestone without the invaluable support and contributions from each and every one of you.
Alongside Geeth’s moving words, we wanted to share a final glimpse from one of our students about as well. Here’s Kushan with his thoughts:
While bidding adieu to our first Empower batch tugs at our heartstrings, we’re in full swing planning the graduation ceremony for batch 2023b set to unfold mid-February. On the academic front, students continue their vlogging journey and we’ve had the pleasure of making some cameos along the way. We can’t wait to see their final takes come to life in the next week. Simultaneously, our efforts on the student recruitment front are at full throttle, as we hope to welcome new faces into Avinya Academy.
Amidst recruitment, we took a trip down memory lane with a workshop for the first batch of students we enrolled. Revisiting the fun activities including the infamous human torpedo (where we’d all like to observe a moment of amused silence for Anuki who introduced herself as “Vihan”), brought back the joy that marked the beginning of our Avinya journey.
Even though our first batch of our Empower students have completely taken leave from us (except when they show up on Sunday to help us with our weekend IT course ;D), their legacy will forever be woven into the very fabric of Avinya, propelling us forward to continue making a positive impact on all of students.
On that note, goodbye for this week and we will be back with more excitement in our next week’s Avinya Scoop!