Welcoming the Class of 2020


The new Enrichment Year is here! 

128 new students timidly shuffle into the Dining Hall with excitement in their eyes, ready to embark on this new journey.

Bags placed neatly in the Library and snacks of samosas, cake and freshly hand-squeezed mango juice are passed around as each kid and their guardian quietly sit, waiting to enter the Welcoming Ceremony. Little do they know, in a short while they will be meeting their new ASYV families and closest friends.

As the students wait for the ceremony to start, one male new student, Gilbert, shares his goal at ASYV: “I aim to study hard in my classes as well as learn a lot in other activities. I want to be a producer, and that will take a lot of work.” A female student, Ray Chris, expresses her joy at this unique opportunity: “My old school did not offer me informal educational in addition to formal education – I feel very lucky.”

Everyone is officially welcomed into the Ceremony where Vincent, the Village Director, highlights the ASYV slogan, “If you see far, you will go far” and discusses the values that will be instilled in each child while at the Village and within the families. We strive to teach our students to see far by setting goals and working hard so they can reach their dreams.

He asked the crowd to look around at the seven members of the Media Team, all filming and capturing the event. He mentioned that most members of this team had never used a camera before coming to ASYV - now check them out!

We heard from the school elected president, Prince, who made sure that each student felt at home, emphasizing the fact that this is their chance to explore and grow in ways they could never have imagined.

Shortly after, JC, the Village’s Executive Director, offered an inspiring talk, focused on ASYV’s background, including the beloved village founder and visionary Anne Heyman. He discussed the family structure and how having a family will transform these boys and girls. By supporting one another, each of you will have the chance to achieve greatness.

Following the Ceremony, was the big reveal. This year there are 6 families – 4 girl families of 20 kids and 2 boy families of 24 kids. Each new student was called to the front where they got a warm welcome from their new mama, big sister, and cousin as well as the sisters who were called before them.

By the end of the day, close friendships had started to form, with new students dancing and laughing together in that same dining hall that was silent earlier in the day.

With the Village reaching its 10th anniversary, it’s looking to be a year for the books. We have some groundbreaking plans for the year and this new class of students is already proving to be a spectacular bunch.

Wishing the class of 2020 a successful and inspiring year!

Submitted by Lauren Gross, Village Fellow 2017

StudentsJill RadwinStudents, 2016