Being the Change: The Meaning Behind Our Annual Celebration Ceremony

On the 21st of June, our Annual Celebration Ceremony took place at Wesley’s Chapel and was attended by over 300 pupils; our largest ceremony to date! This was the first year that we had both Franklin (Y10) and Junior Scholars (Y7) attend, and Scholars came from 10 schools from around the country. Pupils from Discovery Academy, Harris Academy Peckham, Harris Academy Beckenham, Goresbrook School, Copthall School, The Hurlingham Academy, Langdon Academy, Carshalton Boys Sports College, Woodbridge High School and Weavers Academy arrived with bright eyes and enthusiasm as they awaited such a prestigious event. As in years past, we used this ceremony to celebrate outstanding dedication, generosity and brilliance, which the Franklin and Junior Scholars have shown in their support of one another in their schools. Each pupil was awarded a certificate for their academic and personal achievements in either Adventure, Balance, Collaboration and Discipline, based on the Franklin Scholars’ ABCD shield of social and emotional skills and habits.

Georgia Brown kicked off the event by introducing one of our keynote speakers from Skaped and Campaign Bootcamp, Sandy Abdelrahman. She gave a compelling and thought-provoking speech that engaged our pupils in a world much bigger than any classroom. Sandy spoke about the idea that this generation can make a difference in social injustices and issues, should they choose to be the change. Without a doubt, we are confident that our Scholars will make their footprint in the future, if not already.

We also heard from Richard Wald, a lawyer from 39 Essex Chambers and Speakers for Schools, about his journey becoming a lawyer. He spoke about how anyone can become a lawyer with hard work and resilience, and students eagerly asked questions about how they could also join the profession.

Helping people doesn’t always mean giving advice, sometimes it’s just about listening.
— Yursa, Copthall School

One of the highlights of the Ceremony was hearing from the Scholars themselves. Cathy and Aliya from Harris Academy Peckham were one of the six pupils who shared their experience with the programme. Cathy said “When I joined [Harris Academy Peckham] I decided not to make any friends. Moving to secondary school was the worst thing ever. Meeting Aliya was the best thing ever. I have learnt a lot from Aliya, especially what it’s like to be in an older year group and moving up in the school.” It was moving to hear how Franklin Scholars helped Cathy expand her horizons and social circle, as well as thrive in a new environment.

Another one of our Franklin Scholars, Yursa, (Copthall School) said, “helping people doesn’t always mean giving advice, sometimes it’s just about listening.” This relates to our CEO, Kim Reuter’s, ending quote “If you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in the same room as a mosquito.” There is always a difference we can make in the world, whether it be through mentoring or a simple “hello” as you pass someone on the street. This brings the meaning of our programme full circle and made for the perfect ending to our Celebration Ceremony.