Community gives strength

 In Opinion

Julie Pollockʼs address to the NCPS graduating class on behalf of school council:  

Good evening to the Class of 2018. Congratulations to each of you. 

I’m Julie Pollock, and on behalf of your School Council, I want you to know that we are cheering for you as you go forward with your education and your life.

What a beautiful sight you are tonight. It’s a pleasure to be here with you, thinking ahead to my son David’s future graduation in five years; and thinking about my own graduation evening way back. Way, way back. 

When it was stylish to wear cowboy boots with your Indian cotton peasant dress.

Each and every one of you is stepping out into a larger world this evening – larger than this little school and the small group of people here who have watched you grow from a child to a fine young person.

Within this community, you have learned all the basics of your education. These are the essential tools that you will take with you to high school and wherever else you decide to go. There is so much that you have already learned, and so much ahead.

But you have also learned other basics during your time here. How to be part of a community, for example. How to find things you want to do, and become a part of them. How to get stuff done. How to be a leader and how to know when it’s time to step back. How to listen. And how to be a friend.

As the world around you grows bigger, you will need to hold on to your community. Because what matters in life is who you have beside you. Good marks, high scores, money, awards – these are great pleasures in life. 

But these things won’t hold your hand. They won’t remember your favourite dessert. And they certainly won’t make time for you when you need it most. 

These are the things that your community will do for you. 

And it will be your community that gives you strength, that can help you attain those marks, those scores, that money, those awards – and other gifts that come from within you. 

Like happiness, bravery, strength and kindness. 

Everywhere you go, take the time to get involved. It isn’t always easy, but it’s where the action is. It’s about showing up, not showing off.

Tonight, in many ways, you will leave us behind. But you will take away the deep roots of your education and the sturdy branches of this community’s warmth and caring.

Your School Council wishes you well – as parents, as school supporters, as fellow travellers in this beautiful world. 

Carry yourselves with pride into the future and know that you have so much to contribute to every community you encounter. They’re out there, just waiting for you to show up.

So congratulations. Work hard, play hard. But stay soft in your heart.

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