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EDITORIAL: And now, on to the next step


This week marks some of the most exciting days – so far – in the lives of a lot of young people.

Graduation from high school is one big goal accomplished before those students set their sights on the next one.

Two graduation ceremonies in Pictou County were on last night – Pictou Academy and North Nova Education Centre – with Northumberland Regional High School celebrating accomplishments of the Grade 12 class tonight.

We wish them all well and much more success in the future. Some of those students perhaps already have a strong idea of what they’re aiming for career-wise, some likely have a hunch and others will still be searching.

A lot of attention leading up to grad ceremonies is spent on both scholarships and awards received by students. Those awards in themselves tell a compelling story about the interest of the surrounding community, of the organizations and institutions, in the future of these young people. The groups, individuals, businesses and so forth that provide these prizes are both stakeholders and well-wishers in this process of witnessing a fresh crop of bright young minds heading out into the world.

Without focusing on any one of these generous incentives in particular, all combined, they take into account a wide range of qualifications and experiences chalked up by students.

In some cases they are awarded to those who have excelled in a certain academic area. Others honour a student’s track record, for example, in volunteerism or other kinds of participation in their community. And it’s always amazing to see how much some of these young people manage to contribute to institutions and organizations over the years, all the while keeping the nose to the grindstone with their studies.

How do they do it? It’s a little like the old saying, if you want something done, give the job to a busy person.

Other awards acknowledge activities, studies and projects that focus on improving the environment. And in fact more and more elementary and secondary schools are including such subjects these days to engage students to think about the future, and the health of the natural world surrounding them.

And of course there is a long list of other valuable activities and subjects at the heart of these awards.

These students have a set of criteria to tackle during their time in school, to achieve that main accomplishment on graduation day. But they go above and beyond in extracurricular activities and in offering the most valuable investment they can in their neighbourhoods, the towns, the villages – themselves, and their time. It’s wonderful to see that acknowledged in these various awards.

Again, congratulations to all graduates. All the best in future endeavours. And keep in touch – your home community will always be thinking of you.

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