On June 27, another 231 youth graduated and joined the large community of ULA alumni during the ceremony in the ULA Kyiv branch in Puscha-Vodytsia. Today, the community of ULA graduates consists of 639 youth from all regions of Ukraine.
This year’s graduation ceremony was held under the slogan “Meeting new worlds!”. The graduates were welcomed by partners and lecturers of ULA, parents and friends of students, alumni and participants of the Academy programs.
“We have a great responsibility together with you in honor of those who have not had the chance to live to this day but defended our right to be here. We have a responsibility to those who will be in our society in the future and those who are looking for hope for a better present and tomorrow. Remember, it depends on us and what will happen tomorrow depends on what is happening today. You are called to be leaders, representatives of the new generation who will influence the deep transformations in Ukraine and in Ukrainian society “, — Roman Tychkivskyy told students.
Before the ceremony, students had a chance to visit the Alley of Opportunities where both students and graduates met with leading Ukrainian and international NGOs and businesses. Among them were: AIESEC, NSOU Plast, Building Ukraine Together, EdEra, Teach for Ukraine, Ukrainian Youth Association, Transparency International Ukraine and others.
Alongside the Alley of Opportunities, historian, Yaroslav Hrytsak, held a lecture on “Story of the Future: How Ukraine’s future formed”. He also lectured for graduates and guests about the importance of growing up in order to join institutions of governing in 20–30 years.
With words of support and inspiration, the students welcomed the Academy’s partners and opinion leaders.
“You have contributed to the legacy of the Ukrainian Leadership Academy, and the Academy has given you lessons that will serve well in the near future. You have deepened your love for Ukraine, respect for your homeland and respect for yourself. You have learned how to not get disheartened by hard work. You have learned that being citizens is not just beautiful words. Good citizens serve their state in word and deed. So engage in active work, create the future, it’s in your hands, “said Jaroslawa Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western NIS Enterprise Fund.
Prime Minister, Volodymyr Groysman also spoke about Ukraine, it’s present and future.
“I ask you, do not change yourself — change society. Give what you received here to everyone you know. Open your eyes to what others may want to hide from them and in this way, there will be a success “, Prime Minister Groysman inspired.
“In every person’s life there comes a time when one needs to step forward. A step forward is not easy to do. There are those who can be frightened, retire, stop. But not ULAers! Your task is to look for depths and keep up the heights. Do not ever allow yourself, under any circumstances, to stand still. Because life is movement. Run towards your own dream! “- said Father Andriy Zelinskyy during his speech.
ULA Kharkiv graduate Vasyl Shkromyda commenced the ceremony: “Maybe today something is coming to an end, but tomorrow everything will only start and what will be our personal legend, depends on each of us, and the fate of our country depends on our personal legends.”
During the ceremony, the students and the Academy team shared their challenges, achievements and plans for the future.
We are confident that our graduates are only beginning their life after ULA and it will be even more full of victories and bright moments!