One of the reasons graduation season is one of the greatest is because every graduation is truly a miracle. It is a miracle of dedication, perseverance, and hard work. To those graduating from the following high schools: Madison Senior, New Miami, Edgewood, Talawanda, Monroe Senior, Middletown, Ross, Hamilton, Summit Academy, Middletown Christian, Ohio Christian Academy, Marshall, or to those graduating from homeschooling, you have chosen not to be in the 19 percent of Ohioans who won’t graduate high school this year, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Education. There may be various circumstances that prohibited those who haven’t graduated, such as poverty, family traumas, or even hunger. Regardless of difficult circumstances, you overcame any obstacles and became part of the 81 percent.


To those graduating from Miami University, your accomplishments are an even greater miracle. Not only did you decide to be a part of the 81 percent with a high school diploma, you overcame issues of tuition, housing, family, health, and others to be a part of just 33 percent of Americans who have a bachelor’s degree at all. Graduates with advanced degrees are one of the few who make up only 12 percent of the American population, per the United States Census Bureau. During this auspicious occasion, treasure your family and those who helped get you to where you are today.


With this great achievement, however, comes great uncertainty. You’ve walked across the stage, your tassel has turned, and you’ve celebrated with family and friends. But now what?


The journey to reaching your dreams more than likely may not be a straight shot. You will probably have various jobs before reaching your ideal pinnacle. Don’t fret over it. Although you may have just accomplished a lot with your degree, most careers require you to start from the bottom. It’s okay. A great majority of learning how to do a job is from on-the-job training.


The other half of reaching your journey is networking. Sometimes the adage “It’s not what you know but who you know” is very true. There are plenty of tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook that can help you connect. However, one of the most powerful networking tools is just a good old-fashioned handshake. Employers take risks when hiring employees, and it makes a strong statement when someone walks in, has a professional résumé, shakes their hand, and looks them in the eye, building a level of trust employers need.


As your state representative for the 53rd House District, I am proud of your achievements. They are a true testament to the values we hold true as Ohioans. Never give up and always enjoy the journey.

 
 
 
  
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