The merry month of May brings graduations, diplomas

Published 12:29 pm Friday, May 5, 2023

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May is a month of celebrations. From assorted graduations to Mother’s Day, it is a month of parties, presents, and people coming together to mark the achievements of those they love.
And, considering the state of the world today, we need these celebrations.
That’s especially true when it comes to that all-important benchmark for success — graduation from high school. It is essential not simply to celebrate those who are completing 12th grade, but also to encourage younger boys and girls to keep their eyes on the prize. That prize is, of course, a high school diploma.
Graduations have already occurred at area colleges, including Milligan and East Tennessee State Universities as well as Northeast State and the Tennessee Technology Center in Elizabethton. Other graduations are just days away.
Many local athletes who are going to colleges and universities to run track or play football have already signed a letter of intent.
Graduating from high school, of course, should be automatic. Everyone should expect to gain a diploma. Everyone should graduate. Everyone should then expect to at least be able to attend college, should they choose.
To every high school senior, whether you receive a diploma or not, success is within your grasp. Every good thing requires work and determination.
However, a high school diploma is more than just a piece of paper. It marks your having met all course-work requirements in order to graduate high school. It’s also an important benchmark for future employers, colleges, and the military to get a glimpse of your capabilities.
Having a high school diploma is not without its perks! There are many ways that earning your high school diploma can help you out in life. It means more job options, greater income potential, and proving to yourself that you can do it.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school graduates earn a national average of $9,204 more annually compared to those who who do not have a high school diploma.
Simply having a high school diploma opens so many doors for students when it comes to life after graduation…whether a student is seeking enrollment, employment, or enlistment leading to service, obtaining a high school diploma is an essential first step. Today’s competitive job market continues to prioritize candidates with additional education post high school, with 99% of the jobs since 2010 going to employees with at least some post secondary education, an option that is not available for students without a high school diploma. Students considering not completing high school risk not earning a high school diploma and have significantly less opportunities than those who graduate high school and earn a high school diploma.
To those graduating this May, whether it be high school or college, we say congratulations. To those underclassmen, we say keep striving and studying, and a diploma or degree will one day be yours.

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