Sarah Gross Panther Report: To graduates: Be brave, be kind and get out there and experience the world

In two days, McKinleyville and Arcata High will be setting free the next generation into the world, exposed and ready for challenges.

They will embark on the next stage of their lives whether that be going to college, or in exploring job opportunities, or even going to trade and vocational schools.

These students will learn skills to improve their abilities in the workforce, and will continue into  the unknown, becoming adults in society.

I asked some seniors to recall what they remember about their high school experience and what they are looking forward to in the next few years, and this is what they said.

Haley Voorhees remembers starting out as a scared little freshman, but grew into a confident woman when she learned there is so much more to school when you aren’t afraid to put yourself out there. She is looking forward to overcoming new challenges and having new adventures at Southern Oregon University.

Ashley Stockwell is looking forward to creating new memories as she studies at College of the Redwoods and plays​ softball for them.

Hailie O’Bryan is excited to learn about the wonders an education can bring while she pursues her degree at UC Berkeley.

My advice to the graduating seniors is to be brave and take challenges. Learn as much as you can and try new things. Explore what is around you and know that it’s OK to change your mind if you find something new to do.

The world is one giant learning experience and all of us are in the process of learning, so don’t worry about making mistakes; they are inevitable. Be kind and humble to those who help you and ultimately, enjoy your life and be happy about the future; it is bright and full of adventure.

McKinleyville High School’s ceremony with commence at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 16, and Arcata​ High School​’s ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. Both are occurring at McKinleyville’s football stadium​.

A warm congratulations to the graduates. You have worked hard and I wish the best of luck to you all in your future endeavors.

Sarah Gross is graduating Friday from McKinleyville High School and will attend Seattle University in the fall.


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