Educator thanks those who instill work ethic, politeness in teens

To the editor:

On Memorial Day, I wound up at The Home Depot to acquire a few items.

I parked next to the stacks of bagged earth and handed my receipt to a young man who had just finished loading another vehicle; as he began the task, a second young man joined him.

These young men were polite, gregarious and hard-working. They hustled from one vehicle to the next, never failing to greet the customer and respond to their comments with: Yes, ma’am or sir.

Many young people were working hard on this past Memorial Day. From Handyman True Value to Schnucks and Dierbergs to McDonald’s to countless other businesses all around south county, young people were in early and out late serving customers on the holiday weekend.

Work is a good thing that provides high school students with problem-solving opportunities, ethical dilemmas, financial literacy training and the opportunity to learn how to be a valuable employee. Placing value on post-high school education is important and it should be every individual’s goal to acquire as much knowledge as he or she can to be successful in his or her field.

For many, this means a four-year and even an advanced college degree. For others, it means a two-year degree and/or professional certifications, an apprenticeship or employer-specific training. No matter what level of education is required, it is a certainty that a willingness and ability to work will be a necessity.

I thank the parents, teachers, coaches and employers who instill in our teens the importance of hard work and a polite demeanor toward others.

The Memorial Day workers around the region are learning how to work, and it will serve them well regardless of the paths they choose upon graduation from high school.