May 09 2022
By U.S. Senator Deb Fischer
**Click here to download audio of this week’s column**
It’s an exciting time of year. The robes, mortar boards, and tassels are on display as Nebraska’s graduates are celebrating with their friends and loved ones. I am always so encouraged to see our state’s young people succeed and pursue new opportunities.
Graduates, congratulations on your achievements. I know I join Nebraskans all across our state in saying how proud we are of you. These moments can feel bittersweet as you reflect on what you have accomplished and the fond memories of your past experiences, but I’m sure there are also feelings of optimism as you think about the new beginnings that lie ahead.
Remember that you didn’t get to where you are now alone. You had family members, loved ones, teachers, mentors and friends who helped guide and encourage you along the way. These people have made sacrifices on your behalf. And they are going to continue to be your system of support as you chart your future path.
As we have moved past the COVID-19 pandemic, I have had the pleasure of once again welcoming school groups from Nebraska to Capitol Hill. During these visits, I’m often asked what my advice is for young people as they seek to build their lives and start careers. I always respond with this: if you work hard and do what you love, opportunities will present themselves to you.
This has been true in my own life. I grew up in Lincoln, went to the university, and fell in love with a cattle rancher. That brought me to the Nebraska Sandhills where I became a rancher and raised a family. I was a school board member and then went on to serve District 43 in the Nebraska Legislature. Now, I have the opportunity to represent our state in the U.S. Senate.
These opportunities and experiences have shaped my character. They have made me who I am and they have helped guide the course of my life’s work.
So to those Nebraskans who are graduating, as you close one chapter and start another I’d advise you take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. Seize chances to discover what your talents are and develop skills that will empower you to achieve your goals.
As Nebraskans, we are optimists. Maybe it’s our pioneer heritage or our open skies and vast landscapes. We dare to dream and reach for more. Graduates, my sincere hope for you is this: Dare to dream. Strive to achieve. And most of all, love your life.
To the class of 2022, I am so excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for you. Thank you for inspiring us with your success. Through hard work and faith, you will make a positive difference in your communities, our state, and our nation. Congratulations!
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