My wife Andrea and I were invited to a graduation ceremony this past weekend. It was one of the best events we have ever attended.
The graduation ceremony was at Shepherds College, located right here in Union Grove, Wisconsin. The 2016 graduating class was the 6th class to graduate from this fairly new college, which is associated with Shepherds Ministries. Both the College and Ministries serve intellectually disabled individuals. I don’t use the word “serve” lightly. These students come from all over the United States and even some international locations.
Having two children of my own, I know firsthand how difficult it is to have your kids go off to school. I can only imagine the feelings these students' parents had dropping them off 2 or 3 years ago to attend this wonderful organization. Uncertain, worried and concerned are only a few words that could describe what they might have been feeling.
At this graduation however, I did't see any uncertainty, concern or worry from the parents. They were overwhelmed with joy. For most, they probably didn’t think they would ever see this day.
The stars of the show though, were the students themselves. You could see the confidence in them. You could see the love of God in them. You could see the newly gained job skills in them. Like any other young adult graduating from college, they were bursting with enthusiasm.
It was a very touching event for us. I have no doubt that these young people will go on to be productive and giving citizens. We could all learn something from their example.
The employees at Shepherds Ministries and Shepherds College are special people, as are their students.
Scott Huedepohl is the President of Community State Bank, and has been a community banker for over 30 years.