Graduation season has arrived.
The high school and college ceremonies begin today (May 9) as students who completed their high school equivalency certificates are honored at the Sagebrush Inn. Their ceremony is followed Friday by commencement for students from the University of New Mexico-Taos receiving associates and bachelor degrees.
Area high schools will have their graduations over the following two weekends.
Regardless of the certificate, diploma or degree, every one of these students deserves high praise.
Some of them have overcome tremendous challenges - personal, economic, physical - to finish. There were surely moments when they felt like they would never reach their goal, yet somehow they stayed the course and finished what they set out to do.
Some are single parents. Some may be the first in their families to complete a degree. Some left school only to come back and complete their high school education or earn a degree, or both. Some are senior citizens who saw value in continuing to learn new skills and expand their minds.
In an era when it seems like people want instant gratification and the easy way out, these students chose to work diligently for something they believed in - an education. They put their time and hard-earned money into this endeavor. They spent many a night and weekend studying. They refused to give up.
Life will still throw challenges their way after graduation day. It always does. But they can look at that framed certificate, diploma and degree and remember that they have the fortitude to carry on.
Congratulations, graduates. May you find joy and satisfaction in the next steps on your journey.
Never stop learning.
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