Hard work literally pays off for students

Published 8:00 am Thursday, May 28, 2015

From the time they hop on the school bus for the first time to the time they finally turn the tassel of their graduation cap, children are told of the importance of dedicating themselves to their schoolwork, with the promise that the countless hours of studying and countless pages of homework will all pay off in the end.

On the eve of their graduation from high school and the beginning of the next stages of their lives, hundreds of local seniors are finally seeing the results of their hard work, in a form that we all can appreciate — cold hard cash.

Over the last several weeks, area districts have held ceremonies honoring the students receiving college scholarships. Over $1 million worth of scholarship funds have been awarded to seniors in our readership are alone, much of which has been contributed by local businesses, organizations and endowment funds wishing to honor the area’s brightest and hardest working students.

Among the dollar totals contributed to area districts were $367,000 to Brandywine students, $525,000 to Dowagiac students and $675,000 to Cassopolis students.

Leader Publications was among those awarding students for their scholastic achievements, handing out $500 scholarships to a student in each of the communities our four newspaper cover.

In an era where a college degree is practically mandatory for anyone entering the modern workforce, scholarships are more important to high school graduates than ever before. With the price of attending four-year colleges continuing to climb, many students, especially those coming from working class families that make up the communities in our area, are often required to take out students loans that saddle them with five-figures or more worth debt right as they begin their careers.

With that in mind, scholarships and grants play a critical role in the educational futures of our youth. We hope that more organizations take a serious look in how they are investing in the future of our country’s talents.

We also encourage our area’s juniors to take advantage of the same opportunities as their upperclassmen this time next year. While you may want to spend those hours filling out applications and writing essays hanging out with friends or watching Netflix, in the end, the sacrifice will be more than worth it.

Finally, we want to congratulate the collective class of 2015 for their achievements. We can’t guarantee that the next four years will be any easier, but we’re confident that with the work ethic you’ve demonstrated thus far you’ll continue to standout, wherever life takes you.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.