Let me congratulate you on reaching this important milestone! Years of work and study have earned you this accomplishment. Some of you are off to college; some of you are finished with classes forever. Celebrate! You certainly deserve it. This phase of your life marks an ending, but it is also a beginning also—the beginning of a career, perhaps a family, it’s the start of a lifetime of decisions.
The decisions you make now will affect the rest of your lives. Take time to make them wisely. Make choices that strengthen your family and community. Remember the choices you make affect you and the world around you!
And to our community let me add this: parents work hard to help their children get through college. But due to the skyrocketing costs of college, most students must rely on loans to pay for their education. A staggering 55% of Arkansas college graduates owe more than $25,000 as they begin their careers.
We owe it to our students — to our moms, dads and ourselves — to do better. We must make college more affordable and accessible to all our students. We must also make sure young people who are not college bound have the job training they need to make their lives successful.
So, as we celebrate our graduating students, remember that some of the challenges they face are not the same we faced. We must all work together to ensure that every Arkansan is able to get the world-class education they deserve.
Vincent Insalaco, Chair
Democratic Party of Arkansas