Open Letter to 2018 High School Graduates

May 29, 2018

Hi. I’m Eddie Mauro.

As a longtime educator and youth coach, I always look forward to this time of year — when young men and women graduate from high school and college, and look ahead to the next step in their journey. As you can see from my gray hairs, it’s been a few years since I shared your experience. But being close to dozens of students, I’ve learned a few insights about what this day means. If you’ll permit me, I’d like to offer three of those insights, and how to apply them in today’s America.

First, continue your education. Whether vocational training, two-year college, four-year college, graduate school or something else, it’s vital that you never stop learning, not only new skills, but also to adapt, think critically, and communicate. Regardless of the field you pursue, and of the skills and knowledge it entails, the careers of the 21st century will require those abilities. Those abilities will help keep you in control, regardless of your job or position in life.

Second, chart your own course. You’ve probably heard many commentators say that college isn’t for everyone. It may not be for you. But that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to a job that will one day be taken over by a robot — or shipped overseas. There will always be emerging industries that require hardworking men and women with the ability to learn, adapt, think critically, and communicate. Those industries will sustain our communities, and position them for a prosperous future. Get to know those industries, and seize the opportunities that they present.

Finally, I know many of you are concerned about the cost of continuing your education. I am too. That’s one reason I am running for Congress to serve Iowa’s Third District. I have seen some of my former students cut their dreams short because they couldn’t afford to sustain them. That needs to end. And I will be committed to advancing solutions to make education more attainable and affordable. Such as instituting a dollar checkoff for education on your federal income taxes … establishing federal grants for vocational training … and making community college debt-free on a national scale. Most important, I am committed to fixing No Child Left Behind, so no school or the community it serves is left behind.

I know, as a former educator, that if America pledges its commitment to you, today’s graduates, that you can fulfill the hopes and dreams wrapped up in the diplomas you take with you. I believe in that commitment. And I believe in you. All the best of success!

Sincerely, Eddie Mauro

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