2012 Graduations, Transitions and Preparations: Let The Journey Begin

I can’t say that I know what it means to watch your high school senior mount the stage to
celebrate 12 (in most cases 13) years of hardwork. I can only imagine! What I can say is, for the past few weeks I have completely enjoyed sharing in these special moments with personal family and thanks to social media my extended virtual family. My Facebook wall has been flooded with “trip down memory lane” albums, graduation photos, college letters of acceptance, award banquet celebrations and most importantly (for the seniors anyway) PROM pictures. (sidebar: WOWZER… prom dresses sure have changed or maybe I’m simply getting old—An entirely different blog).

Needless to say, this is truly a celebratory time not just for graduates and their families but for our communities. These fresh eyed individuals have proven that they possess a generous amount of tenacity and determination to even arrive at this very moment in life. For these graduating seniors, it would be an understatement to say that they survived high school during one of the most economically challenging, racially charged and politically driven periods this society has experienced in quite sometime. (I’m sure parents can attest to this fact—another blog!). Nevertheless, they have defied the odds by not falling victim to the grim statistics that haunt many of our societies youth.

These students professed, NOT ME to the 4 million statistics who drop out each year, NOT ME to limiting their lifetime earnings to minimum wage as predicated of most high school drop-outs, NOT ME to failing to give themselves an opportunity to do better than their parents. Simply put…NOT MEI AM MORE THAN ANY NUMBER OR NEGATIVE IMAGE preceived or portrayed by anyone.
I am sure a few great parents and mentors played a part in these confessions—I personally know several parents operating—FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION BOOTCAMP .

Some have completed the journey with the most amazing support systems ever, others have done so despite levels of responsibilities that would make adults cringe, and then there are those who accomplished what no other individual in their family has dared to accomplish. Their stories are different but their accomplishment is the same. Now, a monumental transition awaits each of them.

Our support should not stop here. As these students begin to navigate the new trials of college, vocational programs and for some employment —they need to know that we are here to support them. Preparation for building economic stability, career longevity, and strong networks begin NOW. THEY STILL HAVE ALOT TO LEARN before they officially earn ADULT STATUS!

Not to be a “kill joy”, but always frank, honest and incredibly optimistic I must always leave you with a few nuggets for thoughts or action items for growth (however you choose to view them). So, as helium seep from the balloons, party plates are cleared and reality sets in– here are some KEEY things that you (as a parent or mentor) must help your WIDE EYED graduate remember:

1.)As a parent and or mentor you will extend the leash just far enough for them to increase their independence, make mistakes, and take in the responsibility of paying a few bills (at least the cell phone) but you are always there.
2.) Self- evaluation is a necessary process. Success is not owed to anyone. It comes as a result of hardwork, dedication and planning. Be proactive in defining their journey, if they don’t, they will give someone else permission to put them in a box.
3.) Money comes as a result of earning it and credit cards are EVIL if used improperly. So, enforce the NOT ME attitude until they have a clear understanding of CREDIT. (-insert a full CREDIT LESSON HERE and be honest, if you haven’t passed the course find another teacher #IJS)
4.) SOCIAL MEDIA can be their worst enemy or their biggest platform. Don’t post what they don’t want MAMA/DADDY to know. Trust me their potential boss is probably for sure viewing their accounts.
5.) Never forget about their community. Their community needs them. Your investment in them as a child comes with the hope of knowing that when they become an adult YOU CAN CHILL. (Just kidding… Well NOT REALLY!!)
6.) After the curtains have closed and it’s all said and done THEIR INTEGRITY should be their greatest asset. NEVER EVER COMPROMISE IT!
6.) ENJOY THE RIDE—the good, the bad and the ugly …they are one step closer to OLD AGE!

Again, congrats PARENTS on a job well done. Graduates, KUDDOS for successfully starting a new chapter. You have set a standard and now it is time to raise the bar. I am extremely proud of you and am excited to see what your future holds. With that being said…shoot me an email with your picture and next steps—You have earned the recongnition (wchayes@keey2kids.com)!

2012 Success Stories from my family and personal network! Congrats Graduates

Best Regards,

Mrs. Kesha

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