Opportunities, challenges
abound for newest graduates

Published 1:47 am Sunday, June 14, 2009

By Staff
Believe it or not, high-school and college graduates, there are unlimited opportunities awaiting you.
Yes, the nation is being squeezed by an unforgiving recession. Yes, we still have troops deployed overseas. Yes, some of your friends, neighbors and parents have lost their jobs.
Those diplomas or degrees you received don’t guarantee that the rest of your lives will be smooth sailing. You’ll run into storms, that’s guaranteed.
Those diplomas and degrees should serve as keys to help you open the doors of opportunity.
It’s almost a cliche to say your futures are ahead of you, you will be this nation’s leaders one day, and it’s up to you to make something of your lives. There is truth in that. You will make decisions that affect your lives. You should also do things that affect others’ lives.
Think about confronting this challenge: Wherever you live, become involved with your community.
Was there a youth-baseball coach who influenced you as you grew up? Then return the favor by doing volunteer work for a youth-baseball league, even if it’s nothing more than lining the field.
Was there a Sunday-school teacher who made it clear that helping others in need is the right thing to do? If so, think about supporting nonprofit entities such as Eagle’s Wings and the Salvation Army.
Think local government could do a better job bringing people together and bolstering the community? Apply for an appointment to the Human Relations Council.
Talking about change is just that, talk. Making changes, well, that requires action. If you see something you believe needs changing to benefit the community, don’t just talk about it — do something about it.
If not immediately, then in years to come you and others will face your own set of challenges. The experiences you gained by becoming involved with your community as young adults will serve you well when those challenges arise down the road.
Your education hasn’t ended. It’s just beginning, but this time it’s outside the classroom in your community, neighborhood, city, county, state, nation or world.
Take every opportunity to improve it.