Catholic high school graduations and civic ceremonies for all 50 states are no longer the secret to America’s economy, but rather the backbone of the American economy.
Catholic high school graduations and civic ceremonies for all 50 states are no longer the secret to America’s economy, but rather the backbone of the American economy. It’s not every day you find an American that discusses family and friends as well as taxes in his or her speech. So it’s a natural place to discuss from this point on just why high school graduation is one of the greatest American triumphs. So, why isn’t it about weddings?
There’s a common sentiment among Catholics, Catholics in general, and the generations that follow that “high school graduation is no longer news.” Not only have they stopped being politically significant, but it’s been noted as just one of the reasons that law is no longer one of America’s oldest professions, that all veterans now have to secure healthcare benefits, and if they have jobs there’s no longer a high school diploma to qualify for entry into the Army.
And the causes for these lapses are widespread: Lack of childcare, inadequate health care, inadequate housing, lack of other family members to step forward as caretakers, and the number of out-of-wedlock births is on the rise.
The nuns who once made up a majority of America’s high school graduations gave up after Vietnam and Watergate. Since they had no activism or political power, they had little interest in politics. But as their numbers dwindled and the number of students who were going to college dropped and the economy itself began to slow, so too did college-ready candidates. It’s no longer enough for graduates to choose one of the very few careers that will pay enough, even if they don’t need it. Now they must prioritize their education, work hard, and respect the full benefits that come with getting a second degree.
Catholic college graduations have changed all of that. While they might not have had the same cultural impact they once did, college graduates tend to have higher incomes than their non-college graduates peers. As a result, those who graduate from college can afford to keep up with the people who have graduated from other schools, even as the rest of us face a catastrophic road to the middle class.
Graduation itself is often a large enough effort to be an overrated experience. It’s too much about school, but too little about finding a good job and enjoying life. Colleges can make a difference, but they can do it only if they do it the right way. And high school graduation may be the best opportunity ever to try to accomplish that.
Ultimately, colleges can’t hold the future to their own values. Higher education is a place where you have everything you need to pursue opportunities you’d never have found on your own. Just one good notch on your diploma could take you anywhere.
Read the original article on Catholic News Service. Copyright 2021.