2018-05-24 / Viewpoint

The VIEW from here

It takes a Village

Jeff Hogan—Editor Jeff Hogan—Editor Late May and early June are an exciting time in hundreds of households every year in Lapeer County as students graduate from high school and college to begin the next chapter of their lives. It’s a proud moment in the lives of the graduates certainly, as well as their families and the community at large as I’m a big believer in the “It takes a Village” approach to raising and nurturing students from children to young adults.

In Lapeer and North Branch there will be Swing Out celebrations in the center of town where family, friends and student employers line the street to get a glimpse of their graduates as they walk with their classmates for one of the last times before they go their own ways.

In preparation for our annual “Grad Tab” special section to be published in the June 3 edition of The County Press (sister paper to the Lapeer Area VIEW) over the last few weeks I have been getting the Top 10 bios and photos from high schools across the county sent to me. The County Press will also publish an A-Z list of the graduates from each school, including from the Lapeer County Education and Technology Center. Every graduate and their family deserves to see their name in print.

It’s with great pleasure each spring to publish this special section, as it’s a celebration of years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice on the part of the students, their parents and grandparents, coaches and employers whom collectively contributed to the graduates’ upbringing.

In our family at home we have one who’s graduating from Lapeer High School and is finalizing plans to attend Grand Valley State University in the fall. A nephew graduated last week from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My son, Jacob, will graduate next

May from Oakland University. It has been a long and twisting road, but the end is in sight and the graduates are eager to move to the next level in their lives.

While exciting to get out into the real world and out of the classroom they’ve been in all their student years, I remember the apprehension of stepping over the line into the unknown. Almost immediately there was a brutal reality check — the pressure to get a job, find a place to live that you can afford after making the first payments to pay off student loans. It can be overwhelming. It’s a huge adjustment, but we all managed to get through it and they will too.

In my job I’ve had the pleasure to meet and get to know many students in our local schools over their K-12 career, and watched them mature into independent thinkers ready for what the world will throw at them. The Class of 2018 grew up with hand-held digital technology that is second nature to them and has given them an ease and confidence in today’s tech-centric economy that intimidates many parents. Our kids may be smarter than us.

Graduation season is a time of celebration and wide-eyed enthusiasm as our children leave the comfort and security of their local classrooms and homes for the big world out the front door.

Congratulations students. Hats off to all local teachers, counselors, principals, coaches and bus drivers who looked out for our kids on their watch. Together, you all made a difference to get our kids across the finish line.

Thank you.

Until next time, be well and take care.

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