Grove high school graduation is this weekend. I hope you will take time to look at the pictures and sentiments in the Graduation  tab in today’s Grove Sun.

I cry at graduations. It doesn’t matter if I know any of the students or not.

As I look out at the sea of caps and gowns my heart goes out to the kids and I wonder  where they will be 10 years from now. Will they take the opportunities that have been given to them and use them to their full advantage? Will they heed the exhortations by commencement speakers to “live your dreams, reach for the stars, be true to yourself and trust God for your future”?

Some of them will – they will grab life by the horns and embrace it with all they’ve got. Others will make different choices that will change their lives forever.

Oh, the obvious consequences of drug or alcohol use, premarital sex, reckless driving all can be life changers but there are also things that are not so obvious - like not taking your wedding vows serious, not eating healthy and taking care of yourself, getting into too much debt, being self-absorbed. But for now… the future is theirs and they have so much potential!

I heard one of our doctors from Grove speak at his high school alma mater Sunday and he encouraged the new graduates to give back to their community in the future by volunteering and getting involved in the service of their town. He told them that they would reap great rewards from mentoring children or finding other ways to help make their community a better place.

And I hope they do. I’ve been researching some of the opportunities to serve in Grove and have found that Groveites are some of the most giving people.  From the HELP Center to baseball leagues to the church knitting clubs that knit hats for the homeless.

As a volunteer addict (as my husband calls me) I have also found that when you talk to people that volunteer their time you will find very content, happy people… because as you serve you usually get back more than you give —that’s just how it works.

You’ll be hearing more about some of these wonderful endeavors in the weeks to follow in the Grove Sun.

So, I hope that many of the Grove graduates go out and get an education, make smart choices and then come back to Grove to open businesses, live and to serve.

In real life Cheryl Franklin

is Publisher of the Grove Sun