Lower Merion High School recently played host to Rites of Passage – a momentous ceremony formally honoring the graduating class of students in the Becton Scholars Program – as classmates, family and friends congregated in the Aces' courtyard and Large Group Instruction (LGI) room to honor and celebrate this year's singular seniors with remarks from teachers and administrators; presentations of awards and superlatives; great food and music; and the Kente Ceremony.
In African tradition, rites of passage are timeless rituals and traditions marking and celebrating significant life transitions; holistic development of the individual or group; and changes in a person's status, roles and responsibilities. These ceremonies also can serve as an opportunity to recognize that entry into adult life involves the realization of social obligations and the assumption of responsibility for meeting those obligations.
The program opened with welcoming and congratulatory remarks from Diversity Coordinator and Becton Scholars Advisor Taj Byrd, followed by Assistant Principal Ty Ross, who addressed those on hand while lauding the efforts and achievements of this year's graduating class. Interim Principal Dr. Jim Scanlon and English teacher Tyler Goodwin also had the opportunity to take the podium to share praiseworthy words and attest to the students' tremendous achievements during their time at Lower Merion.
Towards the end of the ceremony, each Becton Scholar received a special Kente cloth stole. This beautiful and symbolic garment is one of the most important and widely recognized African textiles. The cloth's provenance dates back 375 years to the Ashanti and Ewe tribes of the west African nation of Ghana. The colors of the Kente cloth were originally made from different trees that created the red, green and yellow dyes. Thread would then be soaked in the dyes and woven together to create exquisite fabrics for the king and other tribal royalty. In modern times, the wearing of Kente cloth has become widespread to commemorate special occasions and is associated with success, high status and cultural sophistication.
After the official ceremony was complete, all those in attendance made their way back to the courtyard to relax and enjoy the perfect weather while enjoying a delicious dinner spread.
Congratulations to the Becton Scholars' Class of 2022 and best of luck in your future endeavors!
Becton Scholars: Makai Beadle, Candice Cardenas, Deja Ebron, Samantha Garrison, Maya Genuardi, Nevaeh Green, Jayde Harrison, Jamillah Jackson, Alana James, Khalil Jeru-Ahmed, Shahira Johnson Jones, Abiah Lane, Kendall Law, Demetrius Lilley, Maya Grace Liston, Mariah Littlejohn, Benjamin Miller-Wilson, Laila Newborn, Samantha Probinsky-Murray, Anisa Pugh, Riley Reece, Autumn Robinson, Nohemy Rodriguez, Jaylen Shippen, Skylar Smith, Jysiah Sterling, Maya Stricker, Kenyatta West