Congratulations 2019 Graduates

We are now into the time of year where we are celebrating our recent graduates. Whether it be from our local public or private schools, vocational schools, colleges/universities, or training facilities for businesses or the armed forces – there is much to celebrate. Regardless of age, gender, background, or religious affiliation, we can all agree that the importance of an education and the creation of a pathway to future success is indeed something to applaud.

Preparing and enhancing the foundation of one’s life can be difficult. It takes effort, determination, perseverance, and a true belief in the achievement of worthwhile personal goals. It is seldom done in a vacuum. The support of family, friends, classmates, and others, can be a critical component of the process. Personal achievement takes a significant degree of dedication. It does not happen overnight. It becomes, by its nature, a part of one’s life. It is often required that sacrifices be made – this includes financial, lifestyle, and relationship adjustments; all done in the name of a greater good to come. While in the midst of preparing for one’s future, it is often difficult to see the freedom that can come with personal growth. Upon completion of an educational/career milestone, and potential entry into a new work/occupational opportunity – it is a time of life where an entire world of opportunities and prospects looms large. Boundless choices exist; it can be a simultaneously heady and nerve-wracking time. But, it is one of those rare moments in life where the beginning of a new and transformative chapter is being written.

For the graduates of 2019 specifically, the United States is blessed with a historically robust economy. All key financial data, along with the vigorous health shown by our major industries, indicates a booming and growing economic environment. The current republican administration, for the past 2+ years, has made economic improvement one of its most important priorities. The proof is in the results. Unemployment is now at 3.6% – in essence full employment. There are more jobs available, in many industries, than there are people to fill them. This drives up competition as well as associated wages/earnings; certainly a good thing for those entering into the job market. Opportunities abound. The jobless rate for minorities is excellent – especially for Blacks and Hispanics; it is at a historic low. For women, the jobless rate is the best in 50 years. Industries, such a manufacturing, are making a comeback in the US. The Gross Domestic Product – a key indicator of economic health, is projected to be over 3% for the month of June; a very good sign of continued growth. A robust economy does not discriminate. Everyone – every color, race, gender, and ethnicity, benefits. A high tide lifts all boats. A strong economy is the best way for all people in our country to take advantage of the countless opportunities for personal growth that present themselves.

In conclusion, it goes without saying that our graduates have a lot to be proud of and we should take the time to recognize their achievements. Those achievements certainly could not have taken place without a belief on oneself, a recognition of the effort required, and the perseverance to see it through. An education, and a commitment to improving one’s future, can play a critical role in the development of personal character, integrity, ambition, and maturity. It is an essential ingredient to personal success. Next time you see a recent graduate – take the time to say Congratulations!

Quote of the month – “Intelligence plus character, that is the true goal of education”-Martin Luther King Jr – American religious and civil rights leader

Steve Nickerson is a Mansfield resident, former US Marine, and is the Vice Chairman of the Mansfield Republican Town Committee – The opinions he expresses are his own.

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