09/01/07 — Advice revisited: We'll work on the schools; success is up to you

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Advice revisited: We'll work on the schools; success is up to you

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have received some requests for this article to be reprinted now that school is back in session. It first appeared earlier this year. It is written for the students who are now headed back to classes and who are intent on making futures for themselves. We hope they take it to heart.

This message is for all of you young people in Wayne County who are wondering what all the fuss is concerning your schools and your futures.

It comes in the form of a little advice.

You will hear throughout your life that you can be anything you choose to be. In many cases, that is absolutely true. You really determine what kind of life you will lead, both as a student and as an adult.

So, how does that apply to your education?

You have the first responsibility when it comes to determining what you are going to take with you when you leave your school’s doors for the last time. If you choose to take advantage of the opportunity, you will have a good head start on a career or trade — or you will be ready for college.

If you choose to goof off and squander the chance to make sure you are prepared, you won’t be ready to survive in the real world.

And believe it or not, at some point, you will have to become a part of the adult world — no matter how far away it seems right now.

OK, we don’t expect you to be at the grindstone 24 hours a day. You should have a little fun, too. You are young.

But if you are serious about having a good job, a nice house and maybe even a family some day, you have to start thinking about how to get there.

And that starts with an education.

Your teachers and principals are there to help guide you along the way — and so are your parents.

But no one can force you to pick up a book or do a homework lesson — or to ask for help when you need it. No can make you take class seriously, force you to learn anything or demand that you seek assistance if you do not understand. You know if you are not living up to your potential — and you know if you are ignoring the lessons you are being taught in class. Pull yourself up or above those who choose to sleepwalk through their school days. Always remember: No one can make you choose to succeed. That really is up to you.

And even if the support is not there — if home is not the best place or you have a family who does not believe that school is important — that does not mean you have to make the same choice or go it alone. There are plenty of places to turn — local groups, your church or even a trusted teacher or other mentor. Share your concerns, your dreams and let them help you create a plan to get there.

And if you are one of the lucky ones who has the support at home or for whom school is already a priority, think about sharing some of your experiences with others. Mentor a younger student or tutor a peer. You just might change a life and make a new friend at the same time.

So, while this community will continue to work to provide better schools for you, we challenge you to be part of that effort, too.

Become the young people we know you can be. Take responsibility for your future and your generation. Make education one of your top priorities — and encourage others to do the same.

Someday you, too, will have children to love and advise. Think of the wisdom you will have to share.

We promise. You will be glad later you worked this hard.

Published in Editorials on September 1, 2007 11:10 PM