The L.V. Rogers Class of 2012 will stroll across the stage at the community complex this Friday night and onto the next phase of their young lives.
It’s an exciting weekend for the grads, their parents, families and friends. The Grade 12 students will celebrate their achievements and reflect on a job well done. When they roll through the downtown in their best formal wear on Saturday afternoon, the community will cheer them on and send them off with big smiles.
As is the case with every class before it, the entire community can take pride in knowing Nelson has helped bring out the best in these young adults. The opportunities provided throughout the grad’s 12 years of education were a collective effort. Teachers, coaches, mentors and community leaders have helped pave the path to this point. Nelson is at its best when we work together and the skills these young people now have to offer the world are a product of this eclectic place we all call home.
As you can read in our front page story, this year’s class leaders are fully aware of what a wonderful community they grew up in. So much so, many don’t want to leave. Some will choose Selkirk College, others will seek local employment, a few will hang on until they figure out the next step.
In the end many will be forced to leave. There’s simply not enough opportunity in this area for young people. They will reluctantly pull up stakes from this place so many from elsewhere have searched out as their new hometown. That’s unfortunate.
In every municipal election, candidates talk about jobs for young adults. Once in office, that platform plank seems to fall to the bottom. Job creation for young people needs more attention. The kids want to stay and we need to find ways to make that happen.
For now, the politics of it all can wait. This weekend is one for basking in the moment and a time to say congratulations to the entire Class of 2012. Whether you leave, you stay or one day return, we are proud of you and know the lessons learned in this wonderland of a hometown will serve you well in the future.