05/15/10 — Role models all: Wayne Community College graduations were full of stories to inspire

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Role models all: Wayne Community College graduations were full of stories to inspire

There is plenty in the world to be upset about these days. Worries about jobs, money, taxes, health care, you name it, it is on the "concerns" list.

So it would be easy to let the achievements of more than 780 students in Wayne County simply pass, allowing the congratulations of their families to suffice.

But there is a message in the stories of those who donned caps and gowns and celebrated the realization of a goal this week at Wayne Community College.

Some of them were traditional students getting their associate degrees and preparing to continue their education or to enter a career field.

They should be commended for setting a goal to graduate from this first step and for setting their sights on something bigger. There are plenty of other people who did not seek to challenge themselves, to prepare themselves for a job, a career, taking care of a family.

It takes maturity, determination and a healthy helping of good upbringing to decide to go to college or to a training program ... and to finish.

So, congratulations Class of 2010. You deserved the applause you heard this week. We are looking forward to hearing many more good things about you in the future.

And there were other graduates, too, men and women who for some reason chose not to or couldn't follow a traditional path to college.

For them, classwork was accompanied by homework of a different sort -- raising children, keeping a house clean and making sure there was money in the bank to pay the mortgage.

It takes courage to take on such a responsibility when your plate is already full. In addition to the diplomas they earned, they can take pride in the examples they have set for their children, showing them that it is never too late to reach for a new goal, or to stretch your concept of whom you can become.

And then there are those who decided it was time to change a decision to drop out of school before graduating from high school. For them, this is only the first step forward -- and a brave one at that.

It is not easy to deal with a mistake from the past. But for many of the adult high school graduates, their decision to go back to school is a sign of courage and determination. They are examples not only of what not to do, but of how to take charge of your life when faced with an obstacle and to change it for the better.

They have taken the first step toward rewriting their lives -- and should be proud of the achievement. They deserved the applause -- and respect -- they received, too.

There were hundreds of stories behind the tassel turning at Wayne Community College this week -- all of them examples of what is right with higher education.

And there will literally be hundreds of role models roaming around the area with accomplishments that could inspire others to take a chance, to move forward, to follow a dream.

And that is why, today, WCC's Class of 2010 should be one of the pieces of good news we talk about.

Published in Editorials on May 15, 2010 10:28 PM