News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 9, 2009

MAX JONES: Tough times call for lots of encouragement

By Max Jones

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?

There is undoubtedly plenty of advice around, and here is a chance to share your knowledge, insights and wisdom with graduates and the legions of Tribune-Star readers.

The advice can take whatever form you see fit. It can be serious, whimsical, humorous, etc. You are limited only by your imagination. Use a few words, or many words, as long as you keep your word count under 100.

We plan to use as many of your comments as possible on the weekend of Vigo County high school graduations in late May.

If you would like to submit a comment, please do so by sending via e-mail to, or to Words of Wisdom, c/o Tribune-Star, P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute IN 47808.

The deadline for receiving submissions is Friday, May 22.

We look forward to hearing from you. Area graduates do as well.

• • •

The Tribune-Star last week welcomed Lisa Meyer Trigg to our staff of news reporters.

Lisa is not a newcomer to newspapers nor to those of us who’ve been associated with this newspaper for a while. She was an intern on our reporting staff back in the mid-’80s while she was a journalism student at Indiana State University. Since leaving Terre Haute, she worked for 20 years at the Banner Graphic in Greencastle, the final three years of her tenure there as its editor.

We are extremely fortunate to have such a seasoned and experienced reporter joining us. Her skill and talent will be put to immediate use for our readers. Her primary beat will be covering police, emergency services and the courts.

Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from ISU, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the Women’s External Degree program at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College.

• • •

As always, thank you for reading the Tribune-Star.

Jones can be reached at (812) 231-4336, or by e-mail at