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Making the most of life

It can be all too easy in life to put off things that should ideally be taken care of now. In situations such as these, it is a praiseworthy thing to take the opposite approach, to be proactive.

Imagine not only being a proactive person but also someone who finds positive ways to inspire and motivate others to be proactive as well. We recently ran a press release highlighting a couple of individuals who match this description — Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) junior Andrew Howell and senior David Fluharty.

We commend Howell and Fluharty for helping create a program called “Taking Flight,” which was detailed in the release.

Howell and Fluharty are president and vice president, respectively, of the H-SC Cycling Club. The club has partnered with Omicron Delta Kappa honor fraternity to raise more than $5,000 to buy new bikes and helmets to reward Prince Edward County Middle School students who have applied themselves in the classroom.

It is a commendable endeavor, but what really grabbed our attention was the reasoning Howell and Fluharty expressed for why they were putting the program together. It was not simply the general notions of giving back to and engaging with the community, which are admirable by themselves and are things for which H-SC and its director of civic engagement, Sandy Cooke, have been awarded. Beyond that, Howell and Fluharty wanted to help middle schoolers make the most of their lives, starting now with strong preparation for life’s next big phase.

“Middle school is a perfect place to start good habits in preparation for high school,” Howell said in the release.

Officials noted in the release that Howell wanted to empower middle school students to develop strong study habits and positive behavior. Fluharty was on the same page.

“So many students miss out on opportunities because they’re not motivated in high school, so we thought we could incentivize a good work ethic early,” Fluharty said in the release. “We especially wanted to reach those who didn’t already have those good study habits in place.”

Too often students nationwide use their high school years less productively than they could, and sometimes this can even limit their college and work options.

Mentioning this helps to illustrate what is at stake, and it also helps to underscore the importance of Howell’s and Fluharty’s thoughtful approach.

These young men are trying to reach those very same students before they enter high school in order to help set them up for success and expand their opportunities in life.

We heartily applaud the thoughtfulness and work of Howell and Fluharty, wishing the best for them, the rest of the H-SC Cycling Club and Omicron Delta Kappa honor fraternity in its efforts.