All graduates, young and old, should celebrate

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 17, 2014

This week, about 475 Pearl River Community College students walked across the stage to receive a diploma and become college graduates.

Next week, students attending our local high schools will be doing the same. Even kindergartners across the county participated in commencement ceremonies at their respective schools.

For students and parents, it is a time of great joy and an accomplishment that should be celebrated.

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According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, only 31 percent of full-time, first time junior college students obtained their degree in 2008.

In 2011, Picayune High School’s graduation rate was 69.2 percent, Pearl River Central’s graduation rate was 73.3 percent and Poplarville High School’s was 84 percent.

While school districts continue to improve their graduation rates and keep children in school, it shouldn’t diminish the accomplishments and achievements of those who are graduating.

Especially those students with backgrounds that put them at a higher risk of not graduating.

Those students pushed through the adversity and continued to strive to achieve their goal.

Parents should also pat themselves on the back.

Sometimes, without the help and encouragement of a parent, the student will give up. An involved parent helps the student and the school administration obtain their goal.

In June, GED students in Picayune will graduate. These students need the same amount of praise as a graduating high school student or college student.

Despite the circumstances that kept them from receiving their high school diploma, these students chose to go back to school and work to obtain an education.

It doesn’t matter your age or where you get an education from, it just matters that you seek to learn.

So for all the graduates, from ages five to 92, congratulations. Celebrate and rejoice because you have accomplished something that not everyone has.