Graduation is called commencement as a way of reminding us this is not an ending—but rather a beginning.
Exactly what is beginning varies from one student to another. The students who will cross the podium to receive their diplomas this weekend have expressed a range of goals and career aspirations.
When you look at them sitting in their caps and gowns at their commencement ceremony on Saturday you will be looking at some who will become heavy equipment operators and welders.
You will see a young woman who plans to travel to Africa to investigate a career as a linguist. Another wants to study to be a nurse and a third to become an elementary teacher. There is a young woman who intends to pursue her dream to become a doctor.
Sitting on this stage will be a future research scientist; and another young fellow who is at present undecided whether to become a chemist or a physicist.
A few are following their passion for the arts, as artists, actors, writers and technicians.
There is a golf pro and yet another a computer technician, There is the young grad who sees a trades certification as his ticket to success as a self-employed businessman later in life.
A couple of these students are planning to take up one of the biggest challenges facing us today by entering the field of environmental studies.
But after five years together there must be some common link between these students; and perhaps it is this— if you ask folks around the West Boundary communities to define BCSS students you will most often be told how wonderful they are.
The word ‘polite’ will be used, as will ‘courteous’ and ‘appreciative’.
You will be told how these kids will pitch in to help out when something needs done. Whether it is helping to move something heavy for a senior citizen or organizing a bottle or a food drive or a community dinner to raise funds for a cause halfway around the world.
This reflects well on the parents and the communities who have had a part in raising these young people.
Marian Wright Edelman, president and founder of the Children’s Defence Fund wrote, “The future which we hold in trust for our own children will be shaped by our fairness to other people’s children.”
Thus the oft quoted phrase, ‘It takes a village to raise a child” would perhaps be more accurate if it stated, “It takes a village to raise a child well.”
And we all—students, parents, teachers and all other school employees—have done well.
Congratulations to the Class of 2014.