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Here’s to the graduates

Over the past several weeks in across the Heart of Virginia, high schools have graduated hundreds of young men and women, ejecting them into the world after more than 12 years of being insulated by educators, classes and homework. 

Absent from the halls once filled with the talk of the future, the former seniors are now headed to find jobs, attend college and trade schools and to explore the world.

Not only do we wish these bright men and women the very best of luck as they navigate through the sometimes ambiguous waters of the future, we also challenge them to occasionally veer away from the chartered buoys along the way.

Graduates, set your sails for success and happiness, even if that requires an uncomfortable change of course, or a hard turn of the wheel at the helm of your dreams.

Success doesn’t come easy or cheap. It takes hard work, long hours and determination — which you have and can withstand.

And don’t be afraid of changing your goals or aspirations, or even your career path.

Change, though often uncomfortable, is one of life’s most popular games. 

Chart your own way, using what your families, teachers and your faith have taught you.

Believe in yourself, because many believe in you, including us.

Always follow the golden rule, and be honest with yourselves and others.

Do your best at your new jobs and in your new college classes.

Our ultimate hope is for you to be highly successful in whatever career you choose: to become the absolute best truck drivers or the greatest scientists the world has ever seen.

But, we also hope that as you labor now, or find a job after college, you’ll be able to return to the Heart of Virginia and use your newfound talents and skills and knowledge to make this an even better place to work, learn, live, worship and play for generations to come.