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The new school year at Restore Leadership Academy (RLA) began last week, and it is off to a great start! With the new year in swing, we have been reflecting on some of our favorite moments of 2018 and want to show you a glimpse of how the last school year ended. Just a hint: it involved tons of balloons, smiling graduates, and an amazing marching band!

The school year at RLA is broken up into three terms, the first of which begins just after the New Year. At the end of each school year, we throw a huge graduation ceremony to celebrate all of our amazing graduates that have worked so hard all year long. Graduation is always a great time to reflect, to gather all of our students, staff, teachers, parents and guests together and showcase the wonderful people that help make our school such a special place.

There is nothing quite like a Ugandan celebration, and graduation is no exception. People start gathering hours before, dressed in their best suits and dresses and colorful kitenge clothes. The ceremony began, with all the students adorned in bright blue gowns and huge smiles, with a balloon-filled procession into main hall, followed by the collective singing of the Ugandan National Anthem and RLA’s school song about restoring love and justice. This year, to make everything even more fun, we hired a local marching band to join in! Right off the bat, the ceremony was in full swing, with everyone on their feet, participating in the festivities.

Our graduation ceremonies are always filled with skits, songs and dances, as well as the traditional distribution of diplomas. All the students, teachers and families are filled with pride to be there, so the ceremonies usually go on for hours! Sometimes they last so long that we have to sneak away for a snack break ☺ But in all seriousness, we love getting to celebrate these kids and all of their incredible accomplishments!

It is such a great way to end the year and to look back at how far they have all come. We are so proud of our class of 2018, and we cannot wait to see what the next year has in store!