Accessible, high-quality and relevant education is critical to unlocking the potential of young Gambians. That’s what the annual Bright
Stars’ Academic Camp offers for Gambia’s young higher academic achievers, including members of Embassy Banjul-run Competitive College Clubs. On August 14, 50 of these students graduated at the Ebunjan Theater after completing an intensive 10-day academic summer camp. Ambassador C. Patricia Alsup presided over the awards banquet in Kanifing and handed out certificates to the students. The U.S. Ambassador congratulated the students for being the highest academic achievers in their communities but also reminded them of their continued responsibility
“Naturally, you are the biggest stakeholder for your education! Don’t ever feel that you are in school just because your parents want you there. Don’t ever feel that you are in school in order to avoid the wrath of your parents. Don’t ever feel that only teachers can make you successful in school. Teachers will teach and donors will support. But it’s your sole responsibility to work hard and gain the most benefit from all these people helping to teach you. You are in school to gain knowledge and become a successful person. Never think that you cannot achieve academic success. Never allow anyone, not even your teachers, to let you believe that you cannot do it. Every one of you is gifted in some way, and it is up to you to discover and nurture that gift. In today’s world, education is not truly an option but a requirement,” the Ambassador inspired the bright stars.
This annual education camp, now in its sixth year, complements the Mission’s efforts to boost the academic and leadership potential of young Gambians. The Bright Stars camp offered students a chance to learn about research options for higher education, critical thinking and writing skills, U.S. values and culture, performing arts, mentorship and leadership, community service, and personal empowerment and responsibility.