An official website of the United States government

Ambassador McCarthy, U.S. Marines Celebrate Graduates at Paynesville Townhall Community
February 10, 2022

A man speaks while standing at a podium and holding a microphone, with people in protective masks sitting behind him

On Saturday, February 5, 2022, Ambassador Michael McCarthy delivered the keynote speech for the senior graduating class of Zion Praise Academy, a private school at the Children Relief Ministry, located in the Paynesville Townhall Community.  The event took place at the Effort Baptist Church, and Ambassador McCarthy was joined by U.S. Embassy Marine Security Guard Detachment and the friends and family of the new graduates.

Ambassador McCarthy spoke about the life-long benefits of education during his remarks and the importance of sharing opportunities with your community.  “Liberia can be a land of opportunity, especially so for those with an education,” he told the next generation of young professionals.  “As you progress and your skills and knowledge grow, share it … Develop a drive to help others grow as you are growing.  Become the mentor you wish you had, or the one that you already had and have always wanted to be like.  Learning is a privilege for all, and those that have the opportunity should not hesitate to share it.”

This graduation was special for the U.S. Embassy community, and our Marine Security Guard (MSG) Detachment in particular, because it included five graduates from the Children Relief Ministry, a local orphanage.  The MSGs have sponsored the Ministry for the past five years.  They visit the orphanage regularly to interact and inspire the kids and organize donation drives during the holidays from our community.  Detachment Commander Staff Sergeant Alma Cavazos remarked on how the friendships made at the orphanage have impacted the Marines and how inspiring it was to be part of the graduation. “It is a humbling experience to know these young men and women and to draw inspiration from their determination and resilience in continuing their education despite the adversity they have faced,” she said.

Young men and women wearing shirts with the Marine Security Guard Detachment logo pose with a group of young men and women in graduation caps and gowns
Children Relief Ministry graduates celebrate with U.S. Marine Security Guard detachment

Marine Security Guard detachments serve throughout the world to ensure the safety of U.S. diplomatic missions.  The first person you often see going into any U.S. embassy across the globe is a U.S. Marine, and they symbolize the American values of integrity, courage, loyalty, and commitment.