JERSEY SHORE - Jersey Shore Area High School graduates were told not only to go into the world and be successful but to do so by blazing their own path at Saturday's commencement ceremony.
While their high school career ended as they walked across the stage at the football stadium to receive their diploma, class president Daniel Wrench told the graduates: "This is just the beginning."
Graduates have made memories and friendships that they will not forget, but Wrench added that it was time to go out into the world and be successful.
Valedictorian Megan Brookens looked back on the friends, family and teachers who helped her along the way to graduation. She said that everyone had a group that motivated and inspired them throughout their careers.
Brookens also asked that graduates not lose their "childhood sense of inspiration."
Salutatorian Victoria Barrows explained that their lives were about to change into something "new and exciting." And as the change happens, Barrows told graduates not to fear it but to embrace it.
She added that as they start the rest of the lives after graduation that they now will have more freedom to make choices on what they do and how they do it.
Barrows also called on her fellow graduates to not only think of themselves, but others as they go through life. She said serving others is important.
"All of us sitting here right now has something to offer the world," Barrows said.
Wrench told graduates that as they go into the next stage of their lives, to look for a new path instead of following another's. Brookens added that they should also take "unconventional steps" along their path.
And as they continue to learn, Brookens reminded graduates that learning is not only about memorizing facts and numbers.
"Learning is opening up your mind to the possibility of everything," she said.