The 132 students who received diplomas Saturday morning at Brownstown Central High School may not know where life will take them in the coming years.

But they will have one thing that ought to carry them a long way — confidence.

After a brief welcome by Ally Persinger during the school’s 53rd commencement exercise in the gymnasium, three members of the class spoke about how education breeds confidence and then hope, and then how hope, in turn, breeds peace.

“As a direct result of the time we’ve spent at Brownstown Central Community School Corp., we have consequently cultivated a priceless education that will follow us where ever life may take is,” Brittany Isaacs said of how education inspires confidence. “Having endless possibilities in store, I hope we may all find the confidence to approach them with unwaning hope, optimistic attitudes and a thirst for success in our future endeavors.”

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Classmate Amanda Stuckwisch followed up by talking about how confidence leads to hope.

She said without the confidence they have received from their educations she and her classmates would have not made it very far.

“Hope for the best,” Stuckwisch said. “I’m not encouraging anyone to continue winging it as many of us have been known to do from time to time, but every one of is well-equipped to confidently take on our futures.”

Sarah Adams completed the theme by talking about how hope breeds peace.

“Whatever we decide to do, wherever we decide to go, the education we have earned has given us the confidence and hope to be forces for good in the world,” Adams said. “To quote the Dalai Lama, ‘With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.’”

Johnathan Reynolds is one of those graduates who already knows what he wants to do now that he has his diploma in hand.

“I’m just going to work,” said Reynolds, who already has a job with Brownstown Electric Supply.

“I don’t have any plans for college,” he said.

Reynolds said it seemed like forever for graduation to arrive, and there was just one thing he was going to miss about no longer heading off to Brownstown Central each day.

“Just being around my friends all the time,” he said.

Nearly a year ago, classmate Matthew Thompson put some plans in place for after high school.

“In August, I joined the military,” he said.

He’s a member of the Indiana National Guard, working in supply.

It’s something he always wanted to do, Thompson said.

Thompson said he’s also glad graduation day had finally arrived and that he was going to miss his friends most.

“… and school work, kind of,” he added.

Amy Frye said she liked school well enough, but she was ready to graduate.

She said her plan is to get a job and save money to go to college with the goal of becoming a veterinarian.

After receiving their diplomas, new graduate Maeleigh Tidd directed the tassel ceremony, and Jakeb Webber gave the senior farewell.

He read from a graduation speech Bill Gates gave a few years ago that Webber said he reworded in Dr. Seuss’ image.

“Be aware life is not like the things we see on ‘Friends,’” Webber said. “In real life the breaks in coffee shops reach eventual ends. Finally remember that you would not be at loss to be kind to the ‘nerdy’ kids as they may become your boss.”

His final reminder was from Dr. Seuss.

“You have brains in your heads. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose,” Webber said.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.