Every June, we celebrate the culmination of our young people making the transition from one phase of their education into the next. This year, I’m proud to have a niece and a couple of nephews who’ve gone from elementary to middle school, and from middle school to high school.Yesterday, I found myself in the crowded hallways of El Camino College where eager Monroe
Middle School parents awaited the opening of the auditorium doors that would allow us on to take our seats and prep our vocal boxes for the traditional ear drum shattering, screams that occur when families hear the name of their graduate called. In fact, this herbal tea and honey concoction I have accompanied with me this morning is actually soothing my throat from all the chanting my family and we did yesterday. Take note.Balloons and leis crafted out of students favorite candies and even money draped the necks of the proud graduates as they stood in the courtyard awaiting their turn to take their seats and receive the first wave of insane applause.
I think it’s a beautiful thing that we celebrate our young people the way we do, and I wouldn’t change anything if tasked with the responsibility. In our community, as African Americans, the graduation ceremony is the closest thing we have to a rite of passage that marks a distinct transition from childhood to adulthood. This has a significant impact on the developmental psychology of children.
In celebration of our young people, tell them how much you’re proud of them, encourage them to keep striving and keep achieving. Soon, the time will come when they will take our place as leaders, as heads of households, and as parents, and the more prepared they are to handle that responsibility, the easier the transition. Graduation is an excellent symbol that represents that transition.
Congrats to the Class of 2014 graduates and parents. Enjoy your summer, you’ve earned it.