News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Max Jones

May 9, 2009

MAX JONES: Tough times call for lots of encouragement

TERRE HAUTE — The last college and high school classes of the first decade of the 21st century have begun receiving their diplomas . Expectations are high, even as economic times are hard.

This year’s grads are painfully aware that now is not a great time to be entering the job market. For college grads, there may be a temptation to think of those long years pursuing a degree as a waste of time. Such are the challenges of landing gainful employment in their areas of interest and training. For high school grads, finding permanent or summer jobs may even seem futile, or at least daunting.

One thing is certain in these uncertain times. The value of education has never been higher. Instant reward for that work may not always be forthcoming, but coming armed with an education is essential when competing for decent jobs.

Meanwhile, these grads need your help!

There is an abundance of smart, savvy people in Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley. You know who you are, of course! I would like to think that most of you are readers of the Tribune-Star.

So we are soliciting your input in trying to keep our new grads in good spirits as they plot the next phase of their lives. We need them to maintain high ideals and aspirations and to embrace the challenges that lie ahead. At a time when it might be easy to be discouraged, we invite our readers to help offer encouragement and wisdom, especially to the hundreds of high school students who will graduate later this month.

On Friday, we began publishing an invitation to readers to share “Words of Wisdom for the Class of 2009.” Our challenge: If you could give the commencement address at Wabash Valley high school graduation ceremonies this month, what would you tell this graduating class?

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