I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the events that took place at the capitol last week and join  leaders from across the country condemning the actions of the individuals who carried out the violent insurrection last Wednesday.  

These are challenging times and I’m deeply saddened to say that there are likely more difficulties to come.  Which makes it hard not to throw up our hands and quit trying – to stop working so hard for a future that right now might feel too uncertain and too unpredictable to pursue.  

I hope that you will reach out to your teachers, mentors, parents and your fellow students as you process all that you’ve witnessed and experienced. And I encourage you to keep moving forward because out of all that is at risk in these troubling times, your hopes, dreams, talents and future should not be. 

Is there an opportunity for action? Yes – absolutely. Is there an opportunity to learn? Always! Take all of that knowledge you have from civics and history classes, writing, research and public speaking skills you’ve developed and get involved in the issues you care about and let your voice be heard. That is what your education is for. 

I still remain hopeful that we are off to great things in 2021.