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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

Rams' "Rites of Passage" Recognizes Remarkable Class of POWER Scholars

Harriton High School recently hosted the annual Rites of Passage Ceremony as the Rams’ community formally recognized and celebrated the graduating seniors in the POWER Scholars Program.

Classmates, family and friends gathered in the cafeteria to honor this year's distinguished group of twelfth graders with remarks from students, teachers, alumni and administrators; presentations of awards; a delicious dinner spread; and the Kente Ceremony!

In African tradition, Rites of Passage are enduring rituals commemorating momentous life transitions; holistic development of the individual or group; and positive progression in a person's status, roles and responsibilities. These ceremonies also serve as an opportunity to recognize that the transition into adult life carries with it the realization of social obligations and the assumption of responsibility for meeting those obligations.

After the evening’s honorees made their procession into the cafeteria, Harriton Principal Scott Weinstein welcomed guests and shared praiseworthy words about the this year’s group of scholars, before introducing POWER Program Coordinator Mr. Nate Bantoe, who served as emcee for the duration of the program.

POWER Scholars alum Ryan Dieudonne, currently a student at Emory University, was then invited to the podium where he shared a few words about how his time at Harriton contributed to his personal growth and many successes both in and out of the classroom. Next, students Kayla Scott, Eddie Wright, Desirae Bradley-Lowery, Milan Ramey, Jean-Yael Coffi-Ahibo and Alessandra Simmons each took their turn at the mic as they reflected on their their respective life-changing journeys through the program.

As the culminating event of the evening, each POWER Scholar received a special Kente cloth stole. The cloth's provenance dates back nearly four centuries to the Ashanti and Ewe tribes of the west African nation of Ghana. The colors of the Kente cloth were originally made from different native trees that created the red, green and yellow dyes. According to Ashanti tradition, the red, yellow and green colors represent the blood of forefathers, gold and forests, respectively. Threads were soaked in the dyes and woven together to create the elegant fabrics fit for kings and other elite tribe members. In contemporary times, the wearing of Kente cloth has become a prevalent part of celebrating special occasions and is associated with success, high status and cultural sophistication.

Congratulations to the POWER Scholars' Class of 2024 and best of luck in all of your future endeavors! To view a collection of images from the ceremony, click through the slideshow below!

Kente cloth stoles at the Rites of Passage ceremony
Kente cloth stoles at the Rites of Passage ceremony
Programs and certificates stacked on a table at the ceremony
A pile of cords lays on a table
Four Harriton faculty and staff members pose for a picture
Pins for the National Society of Black Engineers
Proud parents and family members pose for a picture
A mother and her child smile for a picture
Parents and family members chat prior to the start of the event
Volunteers prepare to distribute food at the ceremony
Three guests smile as they pose for a picture
An arch of red and black balloons stands in front of a Harriton Rams' step-and-repeat backdrop
Father and daughter pose for a picture together
Two gentlemen pause their discussion for a quick picture
A happy family of four pose for a picture as they sit at their table
A mother hugs her daughter as she has a conversation with another guest
Harriton Principal Scott Weinstein poses for a picture with a guest
A mother, father and daughter pose for a picture
LMSD DEIB Director Shawanna James-Coles
A laminated orange card that reads: Always remember the past for therein lies the future, if forgotten...we are destined to repeat it
Assistant Principal Lauren Marcusen speaks to attendees at the event
A smiling mother and daughter pose for a picture
A giant %222024%22 decoration with lights
A smiling mother and her two children
Two Harriton students smile for a photo
Two Harriton students smile for a photo
A Harriton alum and his mother smile for a photo
Principal Weinstein stands at the podium as he welcomes everyone to the ceremony
Guest peruse the program for the event
Principal Weinstein stands at the podium as he welcomes everyone to the ceremony
A guest looks through the event program
The Harriton POWER Scholars make their grand entrance
The Harriton POWER Scholars make their grand entrance
The Harriton POWER Scholars make their grand entrance
The Harriton POWER Scholars make their grand entrance
The Harriton POWER Scholars make their grand entrance
The Harriton POWER Scholars make their grand entrance
The Harriton POWER Scholars make their grand entrance
The Harriton POWER Scholars make their grand entrance
The Harriton POWER Scholars make their grand entrance
The Harriton POWER Scholars make their grand entrance
Two POWER Scholars pose for a picture
Two POWER Scholars pose for a picture
A POWER Scholar smiles and laughs
A smiling mother and her three children pose for a picture
A POWER Scholar and his mother pose for a picture
Volunteers help dish out food at the event
An older gentleman explores the event program
Two POWER Scholars pose for a picture
Principal Weinstein chats with a guest
Attendees line up to get some food from the amazing spread
Mr. Bantoe speaks with parents/guardians
A proud father poses for a picture with his POWER Scholar
A proud grandfather poses for a picture with his young scholar
Mr. Bantoe provides remarks during the ceremony
POWER Scholars chat and laugh at their table
Mr. Bantoe chats with his students
Mr. Bantoe chats with his students
Mr. Bantoe chats with his students
Mr. Bantoe provides remarks during the ceremony
Mr. Bantoe chats with his students
A colorful display of flags adorns a table
Mr. Bantoe provides remarks during the ceremony
Mr. Bantoe provides remarks during the ceremony
Two Harriton students speak at the podium
A proud family member records a portion of the ceremony on her phone
Two Harriton students speak at the podium
Two Harriton students speak at the podium
Mr. Bantoe provides remarks during the ceremony
Mr. Bantoe provides remarks during the ceremony
Guest speaker and POWER alum Ryan Dieudonne walks to the podium
Guest speaker and POWER alum Ryan Dieudonne provides remarks during the ceremony
Guest speaker and POWER alum Ryan Dieudonne provides remarks during the ceremony
Guest speaker and POWER alum Ryan Dieudonne provides remarks during the ceremony
Guest speaker and POWER alum Ryan Dieudonne provides remarks during the ceremony
Guest speaker and POWER alum Ryan Dieudonne provides remarks during the ceremony
Attendees listen to a speech from their seats
A POWER Scholar stands at the podium as she gives a speech
A POWER Scholar stands at the podium as she gives a speech
A member of the audience listens intently to a speech during the program
A proud family member records a portion of the ceremony on his phone
A POWER Scholar stands at the podium as she gives a speech
A father whispers to his young daughter who is seated on his lap during the ceremony
A scholar adjusts the mic as he gives his speech
A POWER Scholar stands at the podium as she gives a speech
A POWER Scholar stands at the podium as she gives a speech
Students listen intently to their classmate's speech
Mr. Bantoe listens to a student speech from the sideline
Scholar Milan Ramey gives a speech during the program
Harriton senior Milan Ramey provides remarks during the event
The audience listens intently to a speech during the ceremony
A POWER Scholar stands at the podium as he delivers a speech
A POWER Scholar stands at the podium as he delivers a speech
A POWER Scholar stands at the podium as he delivers a speech
A POWER Scholar stands at the podium as she gives a speech
A POWER Scholar stands at the podium as she gives a speech
A POWER Scholar stands at the podium as she gives a speech
DEIB Director Shawanna James-Coles listens to a speech
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
A Harriton student walks up to receive her stole and cord
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
Harriton POWER Scholars receive their Kente Cloth stoles and cords
POWER Scholars pose for pictures after receiving their stoles
The POWER Scholars pose for a group photo on stage
The POWER Scholars pose for a group photo on stage
A smiling scholar poses for a picture with her proud family
Ryan Dieudonne and mother smile for a picture

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