2023 Graduation Ceremony
To view commencement ceremony, watch video below:
On June 09， 2023， City of the Dharma Realm's Instilling Goodness Elementary & Developing Virtue Secondary Schools （CDR IGDVS， www.cdrigdvs.org) held their 3rd graduation ceremony. Senior Zhang Wenqian (Vincent), an international student from China, graduated from the CDR’s IGDVS. Former seniors have been accepted into Stony Brook University, University of Tasmania, UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis. This year, Wenqian was admitted into many universities, including CSUs, UCs, and liberal arts colleges. In fall, Zhang Wenqian will attend UC Riverside. CDR’s IGDVS is the second Buddhist school under DRBA founded in 2011and holds the same aims of its main campus at CTTB for developing the whole child, emphasizing both academic and character development. Both schools’ founder, the Ven. Master Hua said, “Education is the foundation for being a person. It is the foundation for the world; it is the true national defense.” IGDVS schools instill and develop students with Confucian core virtues of propriety, fairness, integrity, kindness, filial reverence, humility, loyalty, and trustworthiness. It is the Venerable Master's vision for his schools is to develop young students into outstanding citizens who will contribute to making their community and the world a better place. Most of CDR IGDVS’s faculty hold Master’s or PhD degrees and teach students closely. In addition to the standard California academic curriculum, ranging from K2 through 12, CDR IGDVS offers classes on Chinese, Meditation, and Buddhism and Ethics, and can issue Form 1-20 for international students. The school also offers education to non-immigrant international students who wish to study in the States. For more information, please click here. Students participate in various extracurricular events and community service on campus, including the annual Teachers Day, Honoring Elders Day, Cherishing Youth Day, and Chinese New Year's Day. Students optionally attend the Regional Science Fair and take college courses.
Zhang Wenqian (Vincent)’s graduation speech:
I really want to say that graduating from City of the Dharma Realm Developing Virtue Secondary School is by far the proudest thing I have achieved. I have never regretted my choice of attending school here. However, time is like running water. It seems that I just entered CDR. IGDVS yesterday, yet in a blink of an eye, four years have passed. My time at the City of Dharma Realm was not all-smooth sailing. When I just came to this school, I had left my parents for the first time, and had no ability to take care of myself. My dorm room was cluttered and academically, I also faced language barriers. Faced with so many challenges, I spend all day in bed, dreaming about the comfortable life that I used to have when I was at home. Later, I found that escaping was not a solution, so I made up my mind improve my life day by day. The City of Dharma Realm pushed me out of my comfort zone to accept different challenges. CDR. IGDVS’s education covers all aspects. During lunchtime, students are often asked to come go on stage to share their thoughts and feelings about the talk that day. I remember being at lunch the first time I was called up to share. When I went up, my mind went blank, and I don't remember what I said. But as I needed to share my thoughts at least weekly, I gradually shed my fear of public speaking. CDR IGDVS emphasizes the Confucian’s eight virtues and the daily practice of Buddhism. At school, we not only learn necessary subject knowledge, such as mathematics, English, science, but we also studied meditation, ethics, Buddhism. Dorm students also need to attend an hour of evening ceremony every night. At the beginning, I was very resistant to these subjects and evening recitation, because I didn't understand why I needed to learn these. But then I found out I benefited a lot from it. When I was in China, I didn't know why I needed to study, and I just followed the crowd. Now, I realize that life is not just about sleeping and eating, and that the value of life lies in the realization of self-worth and helping others. These values I formed here will follow me throughout my life. My growth is inseparable from my teacher's teaching. I am very grateful that all the Dharma Masters and teachers told me what are my mistakes and how to correct them. But as the old Chinese saying goes: “good medicine is bitter”, and many times I was grumpy after being reprimanded. Later, after having time to think, I realized that my teachers’ earnest words and intentions were good and that they wanted me to improve for the better. Graduating from CDR. IGDVS, although I will face a very different environment, I am confident that I can continue to develop and strive to become a useful person to others and to my society.