The Desert Sands Community School graduating class of 2022. (Photo credit: Gary Winslow)

The Desert Sands Community School graduating class of 2022. (Photo credit: Gary Winslow)

It takes a village to support and encourage our students

There are many ways that we can help and support students on their journey through life

By Elvenia Gray-Sandiford

Congratulation to all our graduates. You did it!

Graduation marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new journey that is endless. Students leave for college or other destinations as needed by their life’s path. This is a crucial time in the learner’s life as well as the lives of the adults who supported them. It signals that young people are getting ready to enter adulthood.

Learning the necessary skills to handle new obstacles and appreciating a job well done is crucial. They will now understand the importance of us telling them to avoid cutting corners. Regardless of our collective situation or environment, it is also important to know that there is no elevator to success. Instead, we must take those stairs, with each step requiring more confidence in ourselves.

One crucial step for us all, is to help our graduates find their passion. What makes them come alive? How can we support their passion becoming their purpose? The people who they trust, cherish, and value makes their life truly rich. I think we can all agree that nobody’s journey is effortless; we all make mistakes and experience setbacks. As we will all discover together, a setback occasionally signals that it is time to alter direction. Our graduates will benefit from having options while building determination. They should never attempt to match anyone’s pace, and not be frightened of hard effort in realizing their goals.

Let us model lifelong learning to our young people. We should always look for the lessons in our life experiences and appreciate the teachers who deliver them. Sometimes, the lessons will come fast and furious, and at other times they are slow and gentle. In many cases neither our graduates’ caregivers nor their classroom teachers will be the teachers. This is where our collective responsibility falls. We will all be responsible for sharing wisdom with those we encounter, which should result in revitalization of our learners’ spirit.

Encourage them to show up as themselves, as everyone else is taken. Developing an understanding of who you are is a necessary skill for us all to learn and develop. Let’s therefore aim to support our graduates as they are discovering more of who they are, authentically, along life’s adventure.

It is at this time that the value of giving back to others, volunteering, and improving ones’ self is brought to the fore. For us as adults, we may have contributed in cash or kind, through scholarships, employment opportunities, learning, or self-development. For our graduates, volunteering is considered a valuable experience. They can combine their abilities and passion by volunteering to participate in something they are passionate about.

Building a good or positive reputation is crucial to having excellent relationships. Because of someone’s reputation, people will believe them when they say or do something, and they will also give opportunities and recognition and civic pride.

Additionally, let us help them to create dependable connections. One way to do this is to first seek to add value before seeking something in return. Put down the “gadgets’ once in a while and make an effort to positively interact with individuals more often. As we pour into our graduates, we ask that they will in turn use their strengths to uplift themselves, their families, and those around them, and ultimately contribute to the next generation in their village.

Happy summer break, everyone.

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Graduation 2022