Harriton High School recently welcomed classmates, family and friends for the seventh annual Rites of Passage Ceremony celebrating the POWER Program's graduating seniors.
The Rites of Passage Ceremony is a way to formally honor graduating POWER Program students in a way that reflects the traditions of their African and African-American heritage and culture and the positive contributions that Africans and African-Americans have made to history.
POWER (Partnering for Opportunity, Wisdom, Esteem in Responsibility) provides a forum for African-American students to voice their ideas, differences, goals and celebrate their cultural heritage while receiving a rigorous and well-rounded education through high-level and challenging course work. In POWER, students gain an awareness of the support services available to them that will help prepare them for college, a career and civic participation beyond high school.
Rites of Passage is a timeless African tradition that intentionally guides a person's holistic development through life's transitions using cultural learning, rituals and ceremonies for the discovery of their purpose and responsibility to build healthy and just communities. It is based on the multi-cultural premise that a group must recognize and affirm itself before it is able to share and appreciate the differences of others. Rites of Passage also recognize that entry into adult life involves the realization of social obligations and the assumption of responsibility for meeting those obligations.
During the ceremony, the seniors each received a special gift of a Kente cloth stole. Kente is one of the most famous cloths from Africa dating back 375 years and originating from the Ashanti people of Ghana. The colors of the Kente cloth were made from different trees that created red, green and yellow dyes. The threads would then be soaked in the dye and woven together to create colorful fabrics for the king. According to Ashanti tradition, black represents Africa, red represents the blood of forefathers, yellow represents gold and green represents the forest.
Congratulations to the POWER Program's Class of 2019 and best of luck in the future!
POWER Scholars: Manar Albarakati, Khalid Atif, Ayre'l Beasley, Demetrias Jeremiah Blair, Christina Brown, Saida Cerdan, Tula Childs, Ryan Dieudonne, Alante Gardiner, Charles Green, Anayeli Hijuitl, Daphney Zoey Hopkins, Alonzo Johnson, Arrion Johnson, Mila Lacey, Marshall Leland, Nemeisha Meekins, Destiny Pindle, Anecca Smith, Ashley Sydnor, Quenten Trader, Imani Uzzell, Victoria Vass