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The Race to the Top

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The students displayed an unusual energy and excitement. Of course, they were in the company of the President of the United States who not only praised them for their achievements, but shook each of the nearly 300 students' hands. Some students even hugged Obama who warmly received them.

But beyond their youthful exuberance, the students displayed a dignified behavior with their heads held up high. And rather than be stymied, fearful or overwhelmed with the difficult world they are about to enter, they seemed ready and willing to address its challenges.

Adults today are too quick to deny the world's problems, make excuses for their inaction, and distract themselves from taking steps toward more deliberate solutions.

The KCHS students did not seem to shirk from responsibility but rather to take it on as they prepare themselves to be teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, businesspeople, scientists, trades people, engineers, farmers, political leaders as well as parents and citizens in our communities.

Curiously, I am finding this fearless attitude in other youth as well.

The young people of this country are ready to lead. Let the rest of us be inspired and follow them!

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Olga Bonfiglio is a Huffington Post contributor and author of Heroes of a Different Stripe: How One Town Responded to the War in Iraq. She has written for several magazines and newspapers on the subjects of food, social justice and religion. She (more...)
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