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Message to Graduates - May 2019

 

To the Class of 2019:

I am honored to have been your Superintendent and I wish you the best in your future endeavors.  I stand proud as I reflect on the Class of 2019’s accomplishments.  

While we celebrate the milestone of your high school graduation, I encourage you to remember this is not the end.  This is the beginning of a critical chapter in the story of your life.  It is essential in these upcoming months and years for you to make good decisions about how you invest your time, who you associate with, and how you think.

First, I want you to be careful with how you spend your time.  I know each of you have developed a post-secondary plan.  You have determined if your next step is to begin this fall at a two-year institution, a four-year university, a vocational program, military service or a job.  I encourage you to stay true to your goals and your plan.  Don’t invest your time in activities that will keep you from your rightful future.  Don’t allow others to knock you off your path.  They may try to derail you out of jealousy, fear or misunderstanding.  Remember, this is your time, your path, your destiny – no one else’s.  And if you do get off course from your path, get back on.  It is always too soon to quit and never too late to make a comeback.

Secondly, be cautious about who you spend time with.  As you embark upon your journey, it may become necessary to narrow your circle of friends.  People you associate with do influence you positively or negatively.  They will even impact the decisions you make.  You must develop the art of separation and the gift of goodbye to keep negative people from stealing your dreams.  As you embark on your next chapter, select new friends carefully.

Third, be careful how you think.  Please know that you control you – and it all begins with how you think of yourself.  Your mind is your control center and you become what you contemplate.  You can’t consistently perform in a manner that is inconsistent with the way you see yourself.  Everything you have ever done or accomplished started in your mind.  Your life will ultimately go in the direction of your thoughts.  When you sow a thought, you reap a word; when you sow a word, you reap an action; when you sow an action, you reap a habit; when you sow a habit, you reap your character; when you sow your character you reap your destiny.  It all started with your thoughts.  You can’t live a positive life with negative thoughts.  Beware of the dream killers: feelings of anger, fear, anxiety, hate, insecurity, jealousy, self-pity, lack of effort, low self-esteem and lack of planning.  Control your mind and you control your destiny.

Your community, family, background, culture and experiences have prepared you for greatness.  You have the knowledge, courage and skills you need to face your future challenges.  You were born to win, engineered for success and endowed with the seeds of greatness.  Attitude, concentration, effort, self-esteem, education and decision-making separate the winners from the losers.  The history of East St. Louis is full of people who overcame great obstacles to become leaders and attain greatness in their chosen field.

Your destiny is calling. As you graduate and continue to plan your future, reach deep inside and activate your dream, determine exactly what it is that you desire, and create a vision. Stay committed to your vision so it becomes a reality. Know that it’s possible. You are a champion from the City of Champions.  

Congratulations to the Class of 2019,

Arthur R. Culver, Superintendent

Message to Graduates