The Grambling State University Laboratory Schools ended the 2013 session with awards and words of encouragement from speakers.
The High School held its commencement exercises Monday, May 20 in the T.H. Harris Auditorium.
Mayor Edward Jones of the City of Grambling served as guest speaker. He gave reflections of his time at GHS.
The Mayor explained to the graduates that it didn’t matter whether they plan to attend college, enlist in the military, secure employment, or even start a business, they must always give their best, and the best will come back.
The alum listed three life preservers to help ensure graduates to excel and prevent them from having an ordinary life.
“The first life preserver is your lifeboat. Webster defines lifeboat as a land-based boat of special construction able to negotiate “stormy seas” and equipped to save people’s lives,” Jones said
“I believe that obtaining a good education is your lifeboat. This is especially crucial for young African Americans,” he said
By using gathered from a survey, Jones said, “For the 2012 high school graduates who did not enroll in college, the unemployment rate was an alarming 34.4 percent compared to 17.7 percent for the 2012 high school graduates who did enroll in college.
“I encourage you to continue your education and to obtain as many degrees, certifications, and ranks in your career as possible,” said Mayor.
The second life preserver he listed was lifestyle. Webster defines lifestyle as the way in which an individual lives as to dress, habits, friendships, and values.
The speaker said, “As mayor, one of my responsibilities is to manage the police department. Regrettably, I observe on a daily basis our young and old African American men and women fall victim to the Criminal Justice System.”
According to the Bureau of Justice, entitled “Prisoners in 2011”, among prisoners ages 18 to 19, black males were imprisoned at more than nine times the rate of white males, and black females were imprisoned two to three times the rate of white females.
Crimes that run across my desk are illegal use of drugs, DWI’s, sex offenders, theft, speeding, no car insurance, aggravated assault, carnal knowledge of a juvenile, domestic abuse battery, public intimidation, issuing worthless checks, criminal trespassing, aggravated arson, and the list goes on, and on.
Select your friends wisely. Remember, the company you keep, determines the trouble you meet. The Criminal Justice System believes that “birds of a feather, all flock together. So if one goes down, all go down. Have your own mind. Always think about the moral values that you were taught. Remember, when you leave home, you represent your family.
Jones reminded the audience regarding the City of Grambling’s passing of an ordinance that was popular to some and unpopular to others. It was the sagging pants law. The city enacted this law for various reasons. Without going into details, he named about five.
The city implemented the law to play its part in educating the young people in the community, Jones.
He told the young people to remember not to dress to impress, but dress for success.
The third life preserver given was lifesaver. Webster defines a lifesaver as a lifeguard, an expert employed to prevent or to deal with casualties.
“I believe that your lifesaver is the man-up-above. Jesus Christ our Lord. Build up your faith; thank God for everything that the He has done for you; for what He is doing for you now, and for what he will do for you in the future,” said Jones.
He reminded them that to excel is not always easy, for life has its ups and downs.
“To excel means that you never give up; it means that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. It means you may stumble, but never, never crumble,” said Jones.