Goals change, but never the passion | Daily News

Goals change, but never the passion

Gateway College
Gateway College Head Perfects Kavindi Perera and Yeran Karunanayake. Pictures by Shan Prabath Rambukwella.
Gateway College Head Perfects Kavindi Perera and Yeran Karunanayake. Pictures by Shan Prabath Rambukwella.

A great leader shows the way through leading by example with kindness and understanding. So believes Kavindi Perera, Head Girl of Gateway College Colombo, who not only believes that leadership means guiding the way but also embodies the art of it. Perfect Prefect presents Kavindi Perera, a young lady who trusts that actions speak louder than words.

“There is a common misunderstanding that leadership means being bossy. This is not so. A good leader is one who is able to guide others and lead by example. Someone who can handle the pressures and the responsibility that comes with the position while understanding the privilege it holds…” said Perera.

Overcoming Obstacles

Having numerous responsibilities while striving to maintain her academic ventures, Kavindi Perera is thankful that she has her fellow Head Prefect, Yeran Karunanayake alongside her. Together, they believe that they can overcome any obstacle.

Aided by their Prefects’ Guild consisting of 30 prefects and sometimes 60 when the senior prefects from Grade 13 and junior prefects from Grade 12 overlap, they are able to maintain discipline during assemblies, in classes and in the corridors as well as organise events with maximum efficiency.

Regular weekly meetings as well as additional meetings in preparation for events ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the prefects are able to handle anything that comes their way. All ideas are welcomed and taken into account before a final decision is made and executed.

Motivated by giving back to and bringing honour to his alma mater, Karunanayake said “Leading by example and co-ordinating together as a team ensures that there is no problem. Everyone is balanced and everyone contributes” to which Perera nodded vigorously. Their competence and understanding is what ensures the efficiency and smooth running of events and discipline within the school.

Following in Footsteps

High Achiever’s Award.

Kavindi Perera expressed her great admiration for the founder of the school, R I T Alles. She believes that he was an inspiring leader who emulated the values in which she has come to place so much faith.

“In my opinion, a good leader was R I T Alles, the founder of our school. He was persuasive and sincere especially with the students. He would interact with the students and speak kindly to them. He maintained a good relationship with the teachers and his other employees…” said Perera.

She feels that rather than being a leader who dictates orders and gives instructions, it’s better to guide the way by showing what needs to be done. A kind and compassionate leader is better than an overpowering one and she attempts to follow such footsteps when she handles discipline in the corridors, classes, school events and so on.

Creative Genius

No matter what prefect duties Perera is juggling, she always makes time for her studies. Her academic excellence is prominent and what she identifies as one of her key strengths.

“I try never to miss a class as maintaining my academic standpoint is of utmost importance. It was one of the things my mother was especially concerned about when I was offered the position of Head Prefect. I try and ensure that I attend all my classes and delegate duties to my body of prefects to handle when I am in a class. If by some chance I miss a lesson I make sure that I catch up with the notes and that I’m prepared for the next class no matter what…” said Perera.

An eighteen year old with a passion for economics, she hopes to make her impact on the world by someday entering a field that allows her to influence policy making. She currently has her sights on the World Bank.

In spite of her academic achievements, her excellence is not limited to the classroom. She participated in Model United Nations which helped her improve her public speaking capabilities. A budding journalist, perhaps, with her love for writing she was a part of her Journalists’ Club at school and even helped compile the yearly school magazine.

And that’s not all! Her creative genius comes to the forefront as she dabblesin art, music, drama and was even part of the school choir. As if all this wasn’t enough she even plays the piano for which she received an All Island Finalist award at the Sri Lanka Performing Arts and Music Festival.

Family Comes First

Even though she has the strength and fortitude to balance all her responsibilities, her family is always there to support her. Whenever life derails her, she has come to realize that her family is there to set her right back on track.

“Being made a Head Prefect actually made me realise how much I depend on my family. Whenever I have a problem that seems unsolvable, I have found that my parents always have the solution. I have an elder brother who understands the issues that I might be facing and helps me out whenever I need him…” said Perera, smiling. Perera also pointed out that one must surround oneself with those one can trust. She has her family to rely on for she knows that through it all they will continue to support and inspire her.

“We all need someone we can trust and trust is hard to come by. We also need others to trust us. In order to set an example for the younger students who look up to me, I need to gain their trust. Trust is a value that holds more importance than people realize. We all need someone who will be there through everything…” said Perera.

Making her list and checking it twice!

It was her mother who instilled in her the need to be organised and this helped greatly when she took on the position of Head Prefect. She keeps track of her daily activities by maintaining a checklist which she prepares either the previous night or in the morning. Be it meeting with a teacher, organising an event, catching up with classes, she puts it all on her list and by the end of the day ensures that each task has been accomplished.

It’s this level of organisation that enables her to multitask successfully and has come into good use throughout her stint as head Prefect.

Headed by herself and fellow Head Prefect, Yeran Karunanayake, the Prefects’ Guild has successfully organised and co-ordinated a series of events. Following a Year Plan drafted at the beginning of their terms as prefects, they have co-ordinated Christmas and Halloween Carnivals, the school talent show “Soul Rhythm” and a unique fund raising pet show. They are also in charge of Awards Day and hope to organise a grand graduation.

One Direction

Perera believes in the need for goals. Her message to her peers and the youth of Sri Lanka is to set a goal and work in the direction of that goal, striving hard to achieve it for perseverance leads to accomplishment. “Goals change. I used to want to be a teacher. That goal changed. My passion for economics has grown and so my goals have changed. That’s okay. Now with O/Ls and A/Ls in our minds we need to identify our goals and focus on them. Work in the direction of achieving the goals we have set so that we move closer and closer to achieving that goal,” concluded Perera. 


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