High School graduation only the start of a new life

Published 3:54 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2019

High School graduation has changed drastically over the last 30 years.

I graduated from Holt High School in Tuscaloosa in 1988. Several of my classmates got married weeks after graduation and entered the real world taking jobs at grocery stores or factories to support their families.

Those days are long gone. We live in a social media age where you need more than a high school degree to get by. In this era, high school graduates need to attend Junior College or acquire some form of secondary education to learn a trade.

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A high school diploma doesn’t cut it, unless your family is either filthy rich or you have the potential to play professional sports.

I was very fortunate to have chosen a career path during my freshman year of high school.  I planned to major in communications and leaned toward Broadcasting.

The turning point came during the Fall of 1989 when I was a sophomore at Stillman College. Stillman College Journalism Professor Stephen F. Jackson pulled me aside after Broadcast News 201 class concluded. He felt I’d be better off in print journalism instead of broadcast journalism. It was a great move.

Thirty years later, I’m the News Editor of The Selma Times-Journal. I can’t envision a journalism career without Jackson’s suggestion.

I can only imagine what these graduates in Dallas County are thinking right now, especially the ones not attending college immediately or without a college choice.

I didn’t make a college choice until three days before I graduated from Holt. I planned to spend the summer at Shelton State Community College, then attend the University of Alabama later that fall.

With my older sister attending Stillman College at the time, I decided to go there. It worked out for me.

I attended the Baccalaureate Services at Selma High School on Sunday and I loved its Motto: “Quality education by any means neces