EDITORIAL: Island supports its graduating seniors

One way Whidbey Island residents show their support for education is through scholarship funds, which provide many thousands of dollars annually to graduates from Oak Harbor, Coupeville and South Whidbey high schools.

Organizations such as Rotary, Soroptimist, Lions, Kiwanis, VFW, American Legion and many others are constantly holding dinners, raffles, entertainment events, and other fund-raisers so graduating seniors can receive a few hundred — or several thousand — dollars for their educations.

One of the first things an 18-year-old graduate learns is how expensive it is to go on to college or trade school. Even after tuition and living expenses are paid, there are other unexpected costs that are hard to cover. Is anyone really prepared to pay $50 or more for a used college textbook? That’s why even the smallest scholarship from the tiniest organization is appreciated by the student who receives it. Every dollar in grant money is a dollar that doesn’t have to be borrowed, with interest.

Whidbey Islanders who are involved in service groups that provide scholarships deserve a heartfelt thanks from graduating seniors and their families. Scholarship and award winners from Oak Harbor are printed inside today’s Whidbey News-Times. When you scan the list, take time to think of how much labor is behind all those awards, and be grateful we have plenty of organizations who see the importance of assisting students in furthering their education.

As for the classes of 2004 from Oak Harbor and Coupeville, this newspaper has covered many of your successes over the past four years, from band, debate, history and cooking competitions to outstanding scholastic efforts and prowess on the the athletic field. We can say with certainty that Whidbey Island is doing its share to produce bright, optimistic, energetic young people who will help American grow and prosper for decades to come. Whether you’re going to college to become a teacher, or join the military to defend us in the War on Terror, you’re bound to make the folks back home proud.

High school may have been a challenging and productive experience, but in truth the real challenges and real satisfactions in life still lie ahead. Congratulations, grads, and take our word for it: The best is yet to come.

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