Harriton High School recently hosted their annual Rites of Passage Ceremony formally recognizing and honoring seniors in the POWER Scholars Program! Classmates, family and friends convened in the cafeteria to celebrate this year's exemplary group of graduates with remarks from students, teachers and administrators; presentations of various awards; a delicious buffet-style potluck dinner; and the Kente Ceremony!
In African tradition, rites of passage are timeless rituals marking and celebrating significant 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 occasion 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.
Principal Scott Weinstein opened the program by welcoming guests and sharing some well-deserved adulatory words about the this year’s senior class as well as the teacher who has piloted the program to such great success year after year, Mr. Nate Bantoe, who then took over emcee duties before introducing a series of student speakers.
Towards the end of the ceremony, each POWER Scholar received a special Kente cloth stole. This striking and symbolic garment is one of the most important and widely recognized African textiles. 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 The colors of the Kente cloth were originally made from different native trees that created the red, green and yellow dyes.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 the king and other tribal royalty. In contemporary times, the donning 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 2023 and best of luck in your future endeavors! To view a series of images from the ceremony, click through the slideshow below!