Members of the Class of 2013 from Lake Wales and Bartow High Schools will reach a major milestone when they walk across the stage to accept their diplomas, signaling they are ready to step into the adult world.
In addition to receiving diplomas, they will also receive congratulations from school officials, businesses, family and friends. We, too, are proud of the graduates and anxious to extend our best wishes and our prayers as these future leaders step into the adult world.
Most of this year’s crop of graduates have gained a certain degree of maturity — some more than others — but the next few months will see a big change in their sense of responsibility, thoughtfulness, unselfishness, truthfulness and ambition. All of these attributes are praiseworthy and admirable.
We’ve reported about many of these young people in the pages of this newspaper. We’ve enjoyed watching them progress toward the new beginning that will come with the milestone that is high school graduation.
As the graduates in the Class of 2013 take the final steps toward the next phase of their lives we find glory in their achievements, admire their energy, and applaud what we perceive to be an upswing toward dependability, morality, good humor, courtesy, and yes, good manners.
This year’s graduates have a lot of promise. Many plan to further their education at college. Some plan to enter military service. Some want to get married in the next few months. Several will be seeking their place in the workforce.
Many of this year’s grads have their goals and dreams set and will follow them without wavering. Others, will adjust their goals and dreams as the next few months and years roll by and they adapt to life’s challenges and changes.
If history is an indication, more than a few will move away from Polk County to “seek their fortunes” and some will return, drawn back to here when they realize that our area is a wholesome place to raise their children.
Our wish for all the new graduates is that they find happiness in their life choices, whatever those choices may be.