The future's so bright... Senior Exhibition

Yesterday afternoon the seniors at my school presented their senior exhibitions. This involves a portfolio that the panel reviews ahead of time and then a presentation to the panel about their high school experience, their passion and their future plans.

My panel saw:
  1. a future chemist, currently the captain of the football team who is headed to UC Berkly with a Regents scholarship to study chemical engineering,
  2. the senior class president, former competitive gymnast who is the only cheerleader to be going to college on a cheer scholarship and wants to work in radio.
  3. a student who spends every Saturday feeding the homeless and aspires to run a homeless shelter.
  4. an AVID student whose life has been turned in a new direction by that program and now plans to attend college and potentially medical school as well.
  5. the son of divorced parents inspired by his stepfather to attend college and study aeronautical engineering in hopes of someday working for Virgin Galactic or NASA.
These are the children who will shape the future, and even though I only taught one of them, I am proud of all of them. Yet while they head off to college with clear goals and the ambition to achieve them, I wonder if we prepared them enough. Could we have given them more?

I found myself telling the future rocket scientist that there are astronauts that he could follow on twitter. He didn’t know that.  All of them had to create a resume as part of their portfolio, but do any of them have a linked-in profile? Do they know that their future employers, landlords and blind-dates will check their digital footprints? I’m not sure.

The future looks bright. Everyone of these new graduates will make the world a better place. I just wonder if we could have taught them more about it.