Column – Congratulations to the Class of 2024

Published 5:32 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2024

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Chris Quilpa
Congratulations and best wishes, graduates! Thank you for all your diligent efforts, patience, perseverance, and sleepless nights just to hurdle all the challenges you faced. You made it! Thanks be to God.

To our parents, teachers, administrators, and volunteers, thank you for all you’ve done to help our students graduate. I’m sure you’re all very proud to see the results of all the patience, dedication, devotion, and sacrifices you’ve invested in our students. 

So, what now, graduates? What’s next for you? Are you getting ready for the next level or obtaining higher education? Planning to get an apprenticeship work at the shipyard/shipbuilding facility? Did you say, “Taking a break from school for a while and possibly trying to enjoy summer vacation with family members and friends somewhere?” Joining the military, you say? Or, will you have an internship or await a prospective job offer? That’s good. That’s great. Good luck.

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To our high school graduates, take care of yourselves and stay safe always. Whether you have a summer job or you’ve been accepted to a college or university for the upcoming school year 2024-2025, whether in the state or out, take it easy preparing yourselves and your stuff for college. Understand, you’ll have more freedom this time, with or without the constant watch of your doting parents. That’s training yourself to become responsible and independent-minded.

If you’ve committed to joining the military, whether through a delayed entry program or have a set date to report to RTC (Recruit Training Center) or a military training facility, just get ready. Stay physically fit and healthy. Prepare your stuff and have a positive, optimistic attitude while in training. Give your best and observe teamwork and the chain of command. Be squared away at all times. 

To our college graduates, Congratulations and best wishes! Internship, military, graduate school, job search, preparing for the civil service exam or getting certification or a license to become certified professional, preparing for a new job, working somewhere in a private or government company/facility, or a new employee in a big firm. 

If you’re a postulant or preparing to become a servant of God, there’s the seminary (for males) or a convent (for females) waiting for you. Good luck, and God bless you. Or, just got a newly ordained priest in the diocese and are getting ready for your first parish ministry assignment. May the Holy Spirit guide you, and God bless you in all you do, Father.

Well, graduates, whatever you decide to do, good luck and give your best shot. Impress your employer. Learn as much as you can while a newbie in that company. 

As a new military officer, you must learn all the military jargon, terminology, customs, courtesies, and traditions. You must also observe the chain of command, be a role model to the service force, lead by example, protect your troops, focus on mission accomplishment, serve with dignity and faith, and always trust in God, Jesus Christ.

Again, to the Class of 2024, Congratulations and best wishes! May God always bless you and your families, folks, friends, and teachers!