A Note to the 2013 Graduating Class
Kurt Vonnegut once said, “True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.” Then…somewhere along life’s path you decide become a teacher, and you watch your students reach graduation day. Suddenly your fear about the fate of society begins to abate. You realize that a remarkable group of individuals is about to embark on their journey to become the new leaders of our society. This knowledge gives you peace.
Every student at Drop Back In has come to us because something in their academic or personal life was interfering with their ability to be successful in a traditional school setting. That doesn’t mean you are not as smart or as capable of great achievement as any other high school student who graduates from a more typical school setting. Rather, you just had more difficult circumstances around which to navigate. I can personally attest to this. My students, like all of you from the other locations, are bright individuals who have proven that they are capable of overcoming challenges and succeeding. That is what graduation is…you get a piece of paper that tells the world you have worked hard and thrived in an adverse situation we call school. You have all succeeded in meeting, and in some cases exceeding, the requirements for graduation and the expectations of your teachers while avoiding the roadblocks that have been placed before you. You should be applauded for your success.
Graduation is not the end to a journey. Rather, it is the beginning. The challenge of the graduating class of 2013 is to recognize that you are all important members of society who are capable of doing great things. Keep in mind that post-secondary education is the key to unlocking the doors that will otherwise prevent you from meeting your goals. You all have the strength of character to understand that learning is a life-long process. Whether you go to a university, college, vocational school, or job training is irrelevant, as long as you keep learning. Graduation from high school is an opportunity to continue along that course; it is not an end to your acquisition of knowledge. If you make education a continual goal you will ensure that your children and future generations of your family will not become stuck in bad situations. Even when bad things happen to them—as they do to everyone—your children will have learned from your example to pick themselves up and to keep moving forward, because they will recognize that perseverance and hard work are necessary ingredients to being successful. Therefore, it is important to keep traveling along your journey. Make decisions about work and college that are good for you and your family over the long run. Set goals for yourself, and don’t let obstacles get in the way of fulfilling them. Recognize your strengths and capabilities, and use them to achieve the things you strive to accomplish. If you do, you will be the leaders from the graduating class of 2013 that will become part of the solution to the many problems one can see in today’s society. Wishing you all much success! I am proud of each and every one of you.
Drop Back In Academy
Haines City, FL