2018-06-07 / Views

Graduates’ hard work goes beyond classroom

One of the biggest perks about writing for a community newspaper is the opportunity given to meet local students cutting out paper dolls in kindergarten, then follow their growth through graduation and beyond.

The Class of 2018 has impressed with their academic, athletic and extracurricular achievements. If you attended one of six high school graduation ceremonies held over the weekend, no doubt you were impressed with all the accolades.

Hard work in the classroom was on display.

But we’ve been just as impressed by the students’ hard work at ... work.

Long before county students go on to learn skilled trades or earn sheepskins in college, they receive big career breaks raising cattle, shaking cherries and sweeping floors in Leelanau County.

What’s that, you ask? What does cleaning up spilled coffee have to do with a career path?

Hard work.

We recently had an opportunity to review scholarship packets for a county nonprofit. One applicant worked child care for a family, was an ice cream “scooper” at the Harbor House in Leland and bagged groceries for Hansen’s. Another spent summers as a “skimmer” at Cherry Bay Orchards. A Glen Lake grad had been a nanny, bagger at Anderson’s and hostess at Big Cat Brewery.

All of those summer jobs represent career paths. Lacking a silver spoon, the best advice we can give students is to embrace the on-the-job education provided while working alongside adults who know the value of a dollar earned.

Being placed on a honor roll represents an important accomplishment. So does graduating at the top of your class.

But without a strong work ethic, neither will get you to your highest destiny.

To county graduates, we’re suggesting that you will likely have to sweep more floors before you own the building.

We’ve noticed that most of you don’t mind sweeping, and so have those around you.

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