On June 29, 100 Grade 12 students from Summerland Secondary School received their high school diplomas, marking the end of their public school education and the transition into adult life.
During their time in the classroom, these students have learned much and have developed skills which will assist them in their futures.
Some have excelled in academics. Others have done exceptionally well in science fairs, music or drama. Some have received trades training. Some have been stellar performers on sports teams. Some have been outstanding in public speaking or leadership skills.
Each of these graduates has a choice of futures open to them, and in the years to come, all will make decisions about what they will do and where they will live.
While many will leave the community for school or work opportunities, some will later return and will take active roles in community leadership in business, local government or other positions of prominence.
How they approach these role will say as much about us as a community as it will about them.
The decisions our graduating students make, now and in the future, will be a reflection on their values — values they have learned by watching us over the years.
How they choose to live and the paths they choose to follow will show their character.
Summerland has a reputation for working hard to nurture and care for the youth of this community.
This reputation shows itself through various youth initiatives, programs and organizations and through the numerous bursaries which will be given out during the graduation ceremony.
The support financially and through the various efforts to help youths is greater here than in some other communities.
If we have also provided our youths with the values they need, then they will be able to go from here and make a difference in the community and in the world.