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Chargé d’affaires a.i. Steven Koutsis’ Remarks at the American International School of Conakry
June 14, 2021

As prepared for the Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Steven Koutsis
American International School of Conakry
AISC | June 11, 2021 |

My name is Steven Koutsis and I am the Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy here in Conakry.

I’m very happy to be with you this morning and delighted to be able to honor the five graduating seniors Dondo, Naledi, Eunice, Brianna, and Fode.

I would like to acknowledge your School Director, Mark Dempsey, and the AISC Teachers, who have helped you all continue your education and the pursuit of your dreams.

This despite the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the political upheaval we witnessed both here in Guinea and back in the United States.

The world as we know it has drastically changed in the past two years and has impacted us all. We are learning how better to communicate with each other and respect each other’s views.

With the COVID-19, we are creating new ways of working and socializing that will last beyond the end of the pandemic.

Through these challenges, the world’s youth have made strides forward, waiting on no-one to dictate their future.

Everyone, even you, has the capacity to make change and shape the future of the world.

Graduating Seniors, it is your time to seize the initiative.

To shape a world that will be easier to navigate for your fellow schoolmates, when they graduate.

As you embark on the next chapter of your academic journey, remember to hold fast to your dreams.

Dreams allow you navigate that obstacles that people or your environment may throw your way.

By embracing your dreams, you can get over your fear, move forward, and tackle any challenges that may come.

You will attend some of the most prestigious schools in the United States and Canada. The University of Missouri-Science & Technology (Go Miners!), Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!), University of Missouri-St. Louis (Go Tritons!), Penn State University (Go Nittany Lions!) and the University of Toronto (Go Varsity Blues!).

Your hard work and determination has gotten you thus far and will only carry you further.

As much as today’s commencement ceremony is about you, it is also about your Parents.

They have supported and helped you to arrive at this very moment. Let’s give a round of applause to the parents of our graduating seniors.

Today, you join a great legacy of graduates of the American International School of Conakry.

As an AISC Partner, the U.S. Embassy hopes that the graduates will continue to be intellectually audacious and socially responsible citizens of the world.

And whether or not you return to Guinea, we hope that you will carry Guinea in your heart.

And at your new school you will have the opportunity to explain the true Africa to your new friends, even as they ask questions like “What is the capital of Africa? ”

Be proud of the unique experience you have had and build upon it.

I’m confident that the world is in good hands with future leaders such as yourselves.

As your school song proclaims, “Go, Mighty Geckos! You will never, never fall.

You are standing proud and tall!”

Congratulations again to the five graduating seniors Dondo, Naledi, Eunice, Brianna, and Fode.

Thank you.