Graduates must be prepared for life after high school

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By Keith Davis

 One might think that the age of adulthood in this country has risen from 18 to a much higher number. 

More grandparents are taking on the huge responsibility for raising their children’s children, a person can stay on their parents’ health insurance until they are in their mid-20s, and more unemployed or underemployed young people can’t afford an apartment, much less a mortgage. 

It is absolutely true that the economy is not great, but the fact is that many high skill jobs go unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates.  Evidence indicates that our society, starting in the late 1960s, began this shift toward less personal responsibility during young adulthood and I suggest that it has not been good for us as a country - at least from the perspective of global competitiveness.   

However, just because there are more people who aren’t taking care of business, it doesn’t mean that most people behave this way.  

Students who graduated from Bullitt County high schools this past year were awarded over $9 million in scholarships.  Many more have decided to serve our country in the armed forces, and still more have entered the workforce and are starting their adult lives. 

Most young people are doing fine and will be as successful as their determination and ability allow.

One of the issues that we in this community need to address is how we instill responsible actions in more of our students so they will all be ready to accept the challenges of adulthood.

Our school system took a bold step last year and amended its graduation policy to require that the students in the class of 2015 be ready (as defined by the state of Kentucky) for either college or a career before they receive a diploma from BCPS. 

All of our high school students know about this requirement and are being advised how to get there. 

It is not easy, but it is possible for every student if only they will think about their future now while they have time to influence its outcome.  

This is where we need your help and I sincerely hope that those of you who read this will spread the word to others. 

Most of our students have parents who take their job seriously and try to guide their kids to success, but some don’t. 

Even among those that do, adolescents may not be inclined to listen to their parents’ advice at a time when outside relationships have become much more important to many of them. 

Adolescents will listen to and respect the opinions of caring adults who have a perspective not available to them. 

People who have “been there,” who are having or have had a successful career can really be an influence on a student who doesn’t have a lot of support. 

Other folks who have made mistakes and have learned from them can also be great mentors. 

I am not talking about a lot of time, but only taking a look at a kid’s progress from time to time, talking to him or her about attitudes needed for success, and giving advice on the next move to make.  We need you to call 869-6803, ask for Judy, and volunteer to help.  We will provide training, do your background check (safety first), and find a way you can help make the next generation of Bullitt Countians even better prepared than the past.

If you haven’t already, please go to www.bullittschools.org and sign up for e-Newsletters from the district and favorite schools. 

They can really keep you in the loop on what is going on in our school system. 

Next month, I will explain Kentucky’s new assessment program that will be a great deal better than what we have used in the past to help guide our students into a fulfilling and productive adult life.