Saturday, 17 August 2013


August 17, 2013
A warm welcome awaited Fr. Glenford Lowe and Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes at St. Anthony's High School - Vakola. Four hundred and fifty students of STDs IX & X had the opportunity to participate in a full day's Value Education Orientation Program on 'Living By a Value Compass'. Sr. Philomena, Principal of the school welcomed the speakers and invited the students to make the best use of the opportunity that came their way. After an initial prayer song and a meditation animated by Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes, the students presented floral bouquets to both the speakers. 
On behalf of the STD X, Mrs. Sharon Miranda introduced the speakers, while Ms. Leonara Gomes did the same on behalf of STD IX. The students were challenged right from the start to evaluate themselves on a scale of one-to-ten and to recognize the need to make their life a lot more meaningful and significant. 'Living By a Value Compass' gets you there. "Today is an opportunity to reset your Value Compass and get back on the track of life," said Fr. Glenn. "Your life is valuable and you too can Make a Difference," he added emphatically.
The session challenged the young minds to start by asking more 'meaning questions' in life rather then merely just asking 'survival questions'. He invited them to look at their most common excuses in life and to start giving them up. "Excuse is never a value," he confirmed. Many students came forward to make known the meaning questions that they would start asking now in life.
With the help of a very youthful and colorful PowerPoint presentation, coupled with a lot of humor and time for personal reflection, the students were able to actively participate in the TWELVE DIAMOND VALUES that were to follow. "I was able to understand everything so easily because of the many daily examples that were given," said a young student. The constant focus was on the call to Make A Difference. Citing examples from the lives of Ms. Kia Scherr, Ryan Hreljac and Malala Yousafzai, Derrick Redmond, Nick and others, the students could connect with the call to 'Make a Difference' in their own lives too.
Important aspects of a student's daily life were touched upon: from family to school, from doubt to faith, from hate and violence to love and forgiveness, from extra curricular activities to focus on studies, from failure to success, from effective teams to winner attitudes, from scarcity of life to living the abundance of life. Values that are life enhancing were touched upon in a very subtle way. The students were able to understand and take down essential tips to reset their past and live their one God-given life in a more meaningful way. 
In the end, time simply flew past. No one realized that it was time to go home. There was rapt attention all through. At the end of the session, Adnan Shaikh of std X, and Mr. Ronnie Fernandes on behalf of STD IX, proposed the vote of thanks.
A number of students came forward to write their comments in the AVEC appreciation log book:
"You are a real inspiration in my life" -  X-A/1
"You are a very motivating person. Thanks for helping us know the importance of life. Thanks so much" 
 "We are thankful for your precious time. Thank you for helping us realize that all of us can 'Make A Difference' Each of us cannot have an excuse and we have to understand the importance of education. We thank you and promise you that  we will remember all that we have heard and use it in life" -  Adnan Shaikh X-A
 "Thank you for helping me to be a 'winner' and always strive to be successful. We shall cherich this session throughout our life. We need to motivate our self to do well and live life in abundance. I will be M.A.D" -  Royston Gomes X-B
 "Thank you for the Values of life that you taught us. We know we cannot have an excuse to be the best in life and to be creative always" - Rudolf Rodrigues X-C
 "Thank you for the wonderful talk on Values. It makes us realize that in our life our 'Education' is necessary and we can make a difference to the world" -  Pranay Ambokar X-D
 "It was a very enlightening talk and very useful to help us become good human beings. Thank you for the very nice session" - Daniel Joseph IX-A
"It was a very interesting seminar and it helped us to understand that we shouldn't make excuses but understand our limitations and strive to do our best" -  Abishek Jeremy Lobo IX-B
 "it was a very special moment for me. It taught me to look at the way my life was heading" - Shubham Kondalkar IX-B
"It was a very blissful experience for me to be in your holy midst. It created a 'spiritual effect' on my heart and soul. thank you as you spent your precious time to open our eyes" - Srinivas Zade IX-C

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