Enrichment Year’s New Name Is…

Our newest grade, previously called Enrichment Year, has a new name!

In Rwanda and at ASYV, a name represents aspirations and dreams. It describes the kind of person or community that we want to be. As Ian Manzi, the Enrichment Year Coordinator says, a name is “motivation, drive and purpose. It is a reminder of who we are as a family and what it means to be family. A name is how the world around us learns who we are, but most importantly, it’s who we, deep down, know we are and want to become.”

The process of choosing the name starts with the students. Any Enrichment Year student can suggest a name for the grade, and together the grade chooses their favorite. The top three names were Umurava (Determination), Ishyaka (Enthusiasm/Determination) and Inganji (Victory).

The naming ceremony took place during a Village Time organized by Enrichment Year. There was live music, drama, modern dance, modeling and finally…the traditional naming ceremony. It was similar (although much shorter) to the traditional Rwandan ceremony performed when a baby is named. While all of the Enrichment Year students knew their soon-to-be name, it was a secret to the rest of the school.

Eventually, it was revealed that the new grade would be called…Ishyaka Grade! The school celebrated together with cake and “boom,” what the students call the post-dinner dance party.

In addition to their new grade name, each family revealed their new family names. Each family is named for a late hero of their choosing that represents the group’s values and ideals. This year’s families are named for African and African-American heroes who have made a range of contributions from fighting against the slave trade to developing a sanitary belt for women. This year’s Enrichment Year families include:

Josina Muthemba Machel

Booker T. Washington

Albertina Sisulu

W.E.B Du Bois

King Menelick II

Mary Kenner

We can’t wait to see all of Isyaka Grade’s coming accomplishments and how their enthusiasm and ambition will drive their success.

Submitted by Seth Moskowitz, Communications Fellow 2019  

Jill Radwin