Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mayor offers grads direction

By ABBY CROSTHWAIT, Herald Staff Writer | 5/20/2013

Ottawa Mayor Sara Caylor challenged Future Visions program graduates to stay in the arena.

Caylor was the commencement speaker at Sunday evening’s Future Visions graduation at Ottawa High School, 1120 S. Ash St., Ottawa. She told graduates that after walking out the doors, two options awaited them.

Ottawa Mayor Sara Caylor challenged Future Visions program graduates to stay in the arena.

Caylor was the commencement speaker at Sunday evening’s Future Visions graduation at Ottawa High School, 1120 S. Ash St., Ottawa. She told graduates that after walking out the doors, two options awaited them.

“The first choice is to walk out of the arena with your head held high,” she said. “You can still relax, sit back and watch the world go by — along with your future.”

The second option, she said, was to stay in the arena and take charge of the future.

“Well, choice two, it’s bolder,” she said. “Choice two, you can stay in the arena, to take calculated risks, demand that you stay in the driver’s seat.”

Making mistakes and taking missteps is all part of the learning process, she said, but in the end would teach more and allow graduates to learn from mistakes. According to the Future Visions website, Future Visions is a high school diploma completion center that offers educational opportunities to adults who didn’t finish high school the first time around.

“Please know that you are enough. That you can accomplish anything,” she said. “ ... Stop and feel it. The power that comes when you stay engaged, when you dare to make a difference. When you find the courage to know to do what your heart is telling you to do. I challenge you to stay in the arena.”

After putting the challenge in front of graduates, she offered some advice from her favorite book, “The Four Agreements.”

“The first agreement, be impeccable with your words,” she said. “Don’t take anything personal ... Don’t make assumptions ... And always do your best.”

Congratulating students on their achievements and defying the odds, Erin Mills, Future Visions teaching assistant, said four graduates were inducted into the National Adult Education Honor Society. Sarah Jean Hicks, Allie Renee Hughes, Devin Michael Lewis and Kelsey Starr Roberts were presented with awards for their induction.

After all was said and done, the students moved their tassels to the left and walked out the door Future Visions graduates of the Ottawa school district.

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