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Graduations Are Grand, But Remember to Celebrate What They Really Mean

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by

Father Steven Boes | President and National Executive Director | Boys Town

 

Graduations Are Grand, But Remember to Celebrate What They Really Mean

“Keep your eyes on the prize.”

It’s a saying that’s been popularized in a number of ways throughout history.

There’s a reference to it in the Bible (Phillipians 3:14).

It’s been a rallying cry for the Civil Rights movement.

An abbreviated version (“Eyes on the Prize”) even serves as the title of a Bruce Springsteen song.

Closer to home, and very appropriate for this time of year, it’s also a great message for high school and college graduates, and their families.

In this sense, it means focusing on the accomplishment of completing an educational journey and earning a diploma, and not letting those achievements get lost in the excitement of celebrating them.

Before I continue, please understand that I’m all for you throwing a big bash to honor your graduate. At Boys Town, high school graduation is the most important event of the year because it represents the end of one long, tough journey for our seniors and the beginning of their new life as responsible citizens. Graduation Day at Boys Town is full of laughter, tears, hugs, family pride and emotional good-byes. We celebrate this special commencement event, but more importantly, we thank God for the blessing and miracle that a group of young people, who at one time in their lives saw graduating high school as an impossibility, were able to overcome the obstacles they faced and reach that lofty goal.

So while we at Boys Town, and all parents of graduates, celebrate, we keep our eyes on the prize. Feeling the sense of pride and satisfaction that goes with knowing a young person you love and care about has achieved a wonderful milestone. Looking back on the difficult times – getting your child to school every day, helping with homework, praying as a family for guidance and support, watching your teen study for finals late into the night – and realizing it was all worth the worry and hard work. Understanding that this is an exciting jumping-off point for your son or daughter as they head off to pursue even bigger and more rewarding challenges.

Let the celebration begin!