Published on July 10th, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff1
DEAR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE
Pictured Richland Northeast High School principal Dr. Sabrina Suber
Dear High School Graduate: Four short years ago, you entered Richland Northeast High School full of excitement, determination, and uncertainty. I encouraged you to learn and enjoy your years because they would go by quickly. I encouraged you to be present, active in clubs and athletics, to have a voice and give to others. You have achieved everything I asked of you and so much more.
As you know, high school graduation is one of your most important rites of passage. It serves as the transitional phase as you prepare for the next chapter of your life. The 2017-2018 school year was certainly one to remember. You demonstrated a passion to advocate for equity, gun control, school safety and immigration reform. You demonstrated your ability to turn beliefs into action. You have shown the world something that people who work with high school students have long known, young people have opinions and values, and most important, young people have a voice. I watched you with great pride push for things in which you believe. You and your 278 fellow graduates are now poised to continue your work as leaders. As you move forward, I am confident you are prepared for a life of service and leadership. I am confident that you have learned well and will continue putting your mark on the world.
It does not matter what you are dreaming of mastering. It could be starting a business, becoming a billionaire, climbing Mount Everest or finding love. Just believe in yourself. Surround yourself with people who remind you how wonderful you are. While you may not see the whole road ahead, believe in yourself anyway. Novelist Barbara Hall said it best when she penned, “The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.”
A recent Richland Northeast alumnus, 83 year-old Willie Dell Grimes embarked on a journey to get her high school diploma in the 1940s. After dropping out of school, she returned two decades ago and earned her high school certificate but not a diploma. Around the same time you were entering high school, the General Assembly eliminated a requirement to pass the high school exit exam. Mrs. Grimes applied for her high school diploma and received it wearing a Cavalier cap and gown less than a year ago. Despite many setbacks, she was determined to obtain her diploma and she did.
Just like Mrs. Grimes, your journey began long before your first year of high school. You travelled along many paths to get here. You reached quite a milestone recently when you marched into the Colonial Life Arena and out into the world with a premier education, millions of dollars in college scholarships, life and work skills necessary to succeed anywhere you choose. You walked out a Richland Northeast High School graduate, and I could not be prouder. You will always be a part of the Cavalier family and you are always welcome to come home.
Dr. Sabrina J. Suber
Your high school principal and your biggest fan