For a week now many of the pages of the Forsyth County News have had a common theme: high school graduation.
On multiple occasions over the past week, students from schools large and small, public and private, walked across stages to retrieve a diploma that represents both the end of one chapter of life and the beginning of another.
For those who have been in the county a long time, the sheer number of local graduates seems remarkable. A county that just a couple of generations ago may have seen 200 students earn a diploma witnessed 10 times that number in 2013.
Equally as remarkable was the assemblage of young talent that walked across those stages. Graduates of the county’s high schools include students headed to the top colleges in the nation to pursue careers in a wide assortment of fields. The honors earned by some of those students during their time in the county’s schools is a reflection of hard work, individual initiative, parental support and a school system doing an excellent job of preparing youngsters for adulthood.
Impressive too is the community support for graduates, as evidenced by thousands of dollars of locally supported scholarships and grants. When those local dollars are added to the scholarships awarded by institutions of higher learning to Forsyth students, the total financial investment in the future of the class of 2013 is staggering.
So what sort of world does this year’s crop of high school graduates inherit?
A tough one.
The economy slowly is improving, but still far from robust. Wars in the Middle East seem to be winding down, but there’s no assurance of stability. Political infighting in Washington has left the federal government seemingly incapable of doing anything that makes sense. Federally mandated health care threatens to change the nation as we know it. There are incredible obstacles on many different fronts, from the environment to public health.
But then, every generation has had its challenges. From the American Revolution to the Civil War, world wars to the Great Depression, stock market crashes to segregation, drugs to illegal immigration, there have always been obstacles for the nation’s next generation of leaders to overcome.
And for the most part we have, thanks to the best and brightest of each generation rising up to lead.
That, too, will be the role of the Class of ’13, to rise to the occasion, to lead, to overcome, to find answers to problems that seem to have none, to identify the needs of future generations and work to fill them.
As have others before them, the Class of ’13 will write its own page in the history of the world. Having seen the remarkable accomplishments of many of its members in recent days, we suspect it will be a good one.
Congratulations to all.