Throwing Shade

South Mississippi's Class of 2016 is going to change the world, no doubt

JUSTIN MITCHELL

jmitchell@sunherald.com

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AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD
Grant Collum, valedictorian at Hancock High School, will attend the University of Melbourne in Australia in the summer.
AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD Grant Collum, valedictorian at Hancock High School, will attend the University of Melbourne in Australia in the summer.

"Kids these days." Always on their iPhones, taking Snapchat selfies, using the Juno filter on Instagram or getting into arguments with their "frienemies" on Twitter.

How many times have we all heard these phrases? It seems that all too often, adults have no faith in the children they've raised to take on the world and keep it spinning.

Spoiler alert: These people could not more incorrect in their vague and generalized assumptions.

These scholars were raised in the age where technology reigned supreme. Sure, they use all of the social apps they can, but they also have the world at their fingertips -- and they know how to use their phones. They use apps for help with school work. They get text messages about bad weather, school events or directions for graduation.

As Sun Herald reporters cover graduations this month -- one thing remains clear: South Mississippi's Class of 2016 is going to slay in the "real world."

Millions upon millions of dollars of scholarship money has been offered to these kids. They have big dreams and even bigger class schedules. Many are going to Ivy League Schools. Some will study abroad. Hancock High valedictorian Grant Collum is heading across the world to attend the University of Melbourne in Melbourne Australia to pursue international studies.

Countless grads have told reporters they want to be engineers. Others are planning on being artists, activists and revoluationaries.

Others, like Hancock High salutatorian Trevor Ladner, used their voice to make a point and to reach out to others who may be facing obstacles at home, at school, or even just looking in the mirror.

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"To all LGBTQ youth on elementary school playgrounds, on this field, across the nation, and around the world. I urge you to defy normal. Don’t strive to meet or exceed other’s expectations− transcend them," Ladner said to a crowd of thousands on Thursday night at Brett Favre Field. "Despite what some may say, your life is valid, and you are capable of success."

Have faith in the kids who are our future. They're changing the world already, and they haven't even left home.

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