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Posted on May 18, 2018 at 8:28 AM by Kristy Bansemer
The thing I like about the month of May is how it’s become a community celebration. Prom is followed by graduations. Young people prepare for their summer jobs and their next steps into adulthood. Events held in May show evidence of kids growing up, as well as their parents grappling with mixed emotions of pride and anxiety about what’s next for their kids and for themselves.
This past week, I’ve attended three events to award college scholarships to graduating high school seniors—the Derby Community Foundation’s event, a WSU news conference, and senior night at Halstead High School. My family has ties to scholarships awarded at all three events, which is why I attended, but I benefited from attending in ways I could not have imagined.
At each event, I felt the community spirit and commitment from groups like Rotary and Farm Bureau who raise money each year to help a few local kids be able to afford to advance their education and prepare for careers. I absorbed the pride felt by families who have committed to funding scholarships in memory of their loved ones. I observed the commitment of school teachers who labor daily to prepare students and retired teachers who have given even more by contributing to scholarship funds. I saw the gratitude of students and parents as they felt their financial burdens ease.
My cup runneth over.
From these scholarship events in May, my understanding of individual and family commitment to sustaining communities over time increased tremendously. Commitment to community means more than living in a town or investing in our own personal property in that town. It means connecting with neighbors and investing our time and resources in sustaining the future of the community. Investing in the education and job training of our own kids is one thing; that’s personal. Investing in other people’s kids is about investing in the community’s future. That’s community spirit.
Published in the Derby Informer on May 16, 2018.