The SHAPE program had its first set of graduates in our inaugural graduation ceremony and it was a feast of testimonials, emotions, profound transformation stories and lessons, not least the heartfelt valedictory speech delivered by our valedictorian, Victoria Adeola from Kenya.
I would like to thank the SHAPE program consultants for this great opportunity to give a speech on behalf of our class. As I start this speech, I will start with this verse, “The end of a matter is better than the beginning”. We are all true testament of this because we can truly say we are not the same people who came into the program; we are satisfied, we are smiling, we are fulfilled and we are better.
Many of us came in with so much in our hearts, others in the hope that this will be the long-lasting solution they had always wanted, and yes we can say we have found our balance, we have found our purpose, we have found our peace.
To all the SHAPE consultants who took the time to stay the course and ensure we enjoyed the fullness of the programs, thank you. Your hard work was not in vain and the sleepless nights paid off. To all SHAPE Shoulders leaders and members who took the time to encourage, thank you. Your stories brought life to most of us who almost gave up during this journey as it was a glimmer of hope. To SHAPE partners: this journey will not have been any better if you didn’t take up the time to stand by us and guide us in those moments. We have cried, we have ranted, but your words of wisdom have pushed us through every step of the way never failing once to shed light on different angles of life.
To the Creator, CEO and Founder, Mr Tekena Ikoko, thank you for heeding the call, thank you for creating, reviewing, always looking for a better way to ensure we have maximized our full potential. Thank you for not giving up on us and we are indeed grateful and honoured to be part of this program.
Finally, to the inaugural class, the mantle has been handed over to us to continue living, pursuing, pushing past difficulties, celebrating the little things because it’s in these little things we have learnt to be ourselves, we have learnt to be grateful, we have learnt that we are more than enough. Celebrate the little things because in the little things we found confidence to push through the days when we were at our worst.
Do not allow situations of life make you feel less of yourself, this world has taught us to wait for grand occasions before we can celebrate but today I employ you to celebrate yourself no matter the event. If you made a ten-mile walk yesterday and today you walked twenty miles, celebrate. If you were able to complete all your tasks and yesterday you completed half, celebrate. It’s only in celebrating that you will become more aware of the beauty and worth that you carry. Do not allow the spark in your eyes grow dim because you deserve every ounce of goodness coming your way.
As you wake up every single day, remember the beginning, remember the hard work, remember the sacrifices and give thanks that you had the strength, you had the stamina. You are worth so much more, the world is waiting for you, so shine so bright. You have been SHAPED, therefore go forth and SHAPE others.
Thank you. It is an honour to be the valedictorian for this set, July 2022.
This is Victoria Adeola speaking.
More grace, go forth!