Graduation ceremonies are about to unfold in our communities. A time of tears, cheers and extreme pride.

We’re confident the speeches will be fabulous, most have been in the past. Young men and women standing before their community and classmates, offering insight into the future and reflecting on their school years.

Those graduating will be taking the ceremonial step from childhood to adulthood. They will be entering a much different world, a changed world from that of their parents, uncles and aunts. We wonder as they stroll across the stage, diploma in hand, if they are ready for this world we live in today?

Certainly it’s a question many of the parents will be asking themselves when their children leave their schools as students for the last time.

Never before has the world been so small, so connected—technology has seen to that. In a moment’s time we can see anything and everything that happens anywhere on this planet. It’s a world we could never have imagined on our graduation days.

Many of these young people will go on to college, some will enter a work force far different from the one we encountered upon graduation.

These young adults will become computer programmers, lawyers, teachers, economists, engineers, architects, entrepreneurs, or maybe even challenge the world as journalists.

Today they are filled with dreams.

We hope they take the time to understand and respect where they came from. Imlay City, Almont, Capac and Dryden are fine communities; communities that have raised them, given them schools to go to, teachers to teach them, businesses who supported them with tax dollars and contributions, and given them a sense of value and belonging.

Although our hometowns are small, they offer the teachings of the value of communities. These small towns and small town folks teach us what’s truly valuable in life — family, friends and community.

These graduates should be proud of their towns and understand the role these towns have played in their lives.

Of course, good fortune is important in the direction our lives take us. Perhaps more important are the people we choose to surround ourselves with. People and communities like the ones you live in. If there is such a thing as luck, we’d venture to say it is in the place where you happen to be born.

As adults we have already ran the race, experienced the good and the bad this world can dish out, we hope our children utilize their intelligence, ambitions and passions to create a livelihood that enriches the world and themselves.

And never forget where you came from.