New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | July 19, 2019

Editorial: Advice for the Class of 2019

By Andre Jones | May 8, 2019 8:54 am

As graduation day rapidly approaches for our students in Charles City and New Kent County, I want to send a personal message out to push them to the finish line and remind them to follow their own positive path and not those people want for you.

In the past, there was always a conception that all high school students should attend college because a college education will up their chances on finding a job or career in the real world. While I truly value the college education that I received, that is not the case anymore.

Several alternatives after high school graduation have bucked the aforementioned stereotype for students. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) academies such as Bridging Communities offer alternatives for students who want to focus on a particular skill or trade. Hands-on opportunities continue to grow, and with the opening of CodeRVA in Richmond, computer programming and cyber-security offerings are now available to our students.

But there is so much more out there for our students than what our school systems offer. There are a number of places that focus on fine arts such as singing, dancing, and theater. Trade schools offer students the ability to work on machines or become electricians. Auto mechanic schools allow those who want to take apart and engine and put it back together the opportunity to do so. CDL courses provide people the opportunity to get behind the wheel and deliver tools, packages, and supplies all across the nation, giving those people a chance to see the world.

The point is that we were given life to help others and to make our lives better. It was also placed in our hearts that each of us have a different desire to do what we enjoy doing. While our path to get to our dream career may divert and change, the journey is one that we should enjoy. Even If that passion or dream job changes, the desire to get to that goal will remain impactful.

There are no obligations upon completing high school. True family and friends will support your decision, no matter how long it takes you to get there. Remember, when you cross that stage and graduate, you have earned that right to make a decision to better your life and future. Take advantage of it and remember that the choices you make should not only benefit society, but benefit you as well.