May 13, 2022
Sun broke through the clouds late morning on Thursday, May 12, just in time for Cheshire Academy’s annual Postgraduate Ceremony.
A total of 14 postgraduates completed CA’s program this year. Since September, they’ve developed new lifelong friendships, and honed their academic, athletic, and interpersonal skills in preparation for the next chapter of their lives.
Family, friends, faculty, and staff joined in the celebration, held on Sevigny Field. There, they heard from postgraduate Abdul-Rashid Gbaja-Biamila ’22, who reflected on his time at CA. As part of his address, Gbaja-Biamila urged his peers to make the most of their lives.
“Find the thing worth fighting for, whether it’s your dream, family, or love,” he said. “Make the most of every opportunity because I see all of you and I see potential. I feel like it is cliché to say something like that in a motivational speech but, living among you guys, I see it. You all have unique personalities and I know that you are capable of a lot.”
Gbaja-Biamila was also named this year’s Armando Simosa ’08 Award recipient. The award is given annually to a postgraduate student who has embraced the values of CA exemplified by the Eight Pillars of Bowden, who has displayed significant academic growth, and who has participated enthusiastically in the extracurricular life of the school. The award is in memory of Simosa, a postgraduate from Venezuela who embraced everything CA had to offer. Simosa died tragically in 2009.
Admission Associate Jeremy Imperati ’17 also spoke, reflecting on his postgraduate year at Cheshire Academy. During his time at CA, Imperati received countless awards for his athletic prowess, but those accolades are not what comes to Imperati’s mind when looking back on his postgraduate year.
“What I really think about are the people I met here and how they impacted my life,” Imperati reflected. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without Cheshire Academy and the people I met. Cheshire Academy allowed me to make connections, experience new things, and also learn about myself. The amount of community, respect, and love that I felt here as a student is indescribable, and I always tell people, going to Cheshire Academy was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
As part of her address, Head of School Julie Anderson P’19,’23 reflected that the postgraduates took an “enormous step and regained control” amid a pandemic. “You took control of your education,” Anderson said. “All of you chose a postgraduate year. You chose to keep going forward, with the control of dictating your own path. You each came to Cheshire Academy with a purpose … and it is my pleasure to be celebrating with you today. Let’s celebrate what you discovered, the opportunities you found, the friendships you made, and the challenges you met head on.”
See more photos from the event on our Flickr photo gallery.