New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | April 14, 2024

Advice comes in groups of three for CCHS graduates

By Alan Chamberlain | June 24, 2010 9:45 am

Speakers imparted words of wisdom, usually in groups of three, to Charles City High School’s Class of 2010 as the school’s 39th commencement exercise unfolded last Friday night.

Fifty-one graduates, including 15 honor grads, paraded across the stage inside the school’s gym to receive diplomas. Fourteen scholarship winners, meanwhile, walked away with awards totaling over $48,000.

“Today is the day we’ve waited 12 long years for,” class salutatorian and president Kari Squire told classmates, adding that it seemed like only yesterday that class members graduated from kindergarten.

In deciding on what to tell fellow grads, she said she opted for three lessons for life, starting with “you have to try something new.” She lived by that axiom, she said, by accepting the role of senior class president.

“You have to take challenges head on and try something new,” she added.

Next, she told classmates, “Each of us has to be the greatest.” And finally, she said, “Success is just an arm’s length away; you have to reach for it.

“Know what you want to do, love what you do, and believe you can do it,” she said.

“To call yourself the greatest, you have to realize your true potential,” she concluded.

Valedictorian Allison Adkins told classmates that the commencement ceremony is “an act of starting something.”

She said she looks forward to seeing what the world has to offer along with meeting new people and making new friends. But she reminded grads that family and friends back home along with faith can serve as GPS devices of sorts.

“They will always be there to guide you in the right direction,” she said.

In concluding, she wished for bright and successful futures for all of her classmates.

Featured speaker Torski Dobson Arnold, a 1994 Charles City grad and now president and CEO of Your Career Confidence LLC, returned to the three bits of wisdom theme, drawing from “The Little Engine That Could.”

To review, the little engine had to pull a heavy load up a hill and sought help from two larger, and apparently stronger, engines. Each time the larger engines rejected the little engine’s request. Instead, an engine of comparable size and strength teamed with the little engine and together they accomplished the task.

“Don’t allow setbacks to set you back,” she told grads for lesson number one, pointing to the little engine’s penchant for not giving up.

“It’s easier to find an excuse than to find a reason,” she offered next, alluding to the larger engines balking when it came to the little engine’s call for help.

“Assumptions allow the best in life to pass you by,” she said for the third lesson, referring to the little engine’s initial belief that the larger, stronger engines were the obvious solution to the problem.

In summary, she told the class, “If you think you can, you are right. And if you think you can’t, you are right.”