It seems like the years just keep on rolling along. I am starting to see what my parents use to mean when they would say that time goes by faster the older you get. I must be getting older since it seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the graduation for the class of 2012.
Enough about me and my time lapse. What I want to focus on is all those graduates. For most high school students the plan is to go on to college. Its a good plan if you are ready for the challenges of higher education. If you are graduating from college now with degree in hand you are looking forward to getting your career started. Let me first talk to those graduating from college and put some perspective. Let me ask you, do you have any college student loans? What is the balance and what kinda of payments will you have to start making? So right out the gate before you even find that perfect job you may have to start making some payments on that investment called a college education. According to a New York Times report Degrees of Debt– by Adrew Martin May 2012 the average student loan debt is $26,500. Many parents co-sign for these loans so that if the student isn’t able to make payments then the parents are responsible for the debt. I highly recommend high school students and parents read this article about some of the painful realities of taking on student loans. Now I don’t want to sound all doom and gloom but the reality is that many students graduate from a university often times with a degree which does not transfer very well into a career in the job sector. There are also students who graduate from prestigious Ivy League universities in degrees that leave them with over $100,000 in student loans yet their degrees are in career fields that pay very little in comparison to the amount of debt taken on. An example of these careers are such as being a school teacher or a having a degree in public service for non-profit organizations. That’s great that these graduates have high aspirations of public service but it still doesn’t change the fact that they have this tremendous debt.
Many students also graduate with a degree that is relevant in the public sector however the difficulty is in breaking into that particular field without experience, kinda like sports medicine or training dolphins as a marine biologist. You need a degree but also the experience.
Now let me get into how the Army National Guard fits into all this. Here’s the deal. We provide you with hands on job training for a commitment to serve your state and nation. Its a sacrifice, its a lot to ask. In return we train you and prepare you mentally and physically. You will learn a trade or career. In addition to that we offer some pretty amazing college benefits such as 100% state tuition to any state public university in Hawaii. If you attend a private university you can utilize federal tuition which pays up to $250 per credit hour for a max of $4500 annually in addition to that you can utilize the GI Bill. With all the different college benefits we offer its pretty realistic to attend a public university and not have to accumulate any student debt or at least eliminate a good chunk of it if you need to take on any.
Here another great thing as well,you will learn leadership, you will learn communication skills and how to work as a member of a cohesive team. These are invaluable skills in any line of work. We have over 150 careers to choose from. These include aviation, communications, engineering, carpentry, administration, combat arms, medical and law enforcement. The bottom line is that we have we have something for you. I like to use the example of the best way to be competitive in life is to have both education and experience. You want to have both sides of the coin, your odds are much better, that’s the analogy I like to use. Be competitive and the Hawaii Army National Guard offers that opportunity. Get an education, get some experience and learn some leadership skills. These I believe are essential tools for success.
Now let me address the high school graduates that’s if you’ve made it this far in my article. Let me ask you, do you want to graduate from high school with out a plan? Do you want to go on to college and weigh your parents down with debt or yourself so that once you graduate from college you have a degree but a huge payment to make every month and no experience. Here is the other option, join the Hawaii Army National Guard. Learn a trade, get some experience and further your career by getting higher education relevant to that career so that when you graduate you have both experience and education. Now there may be those that say that you don’t have to join the National Guard to be successful in college or in the workforce and they are correct. However the Guard improves your chances that much more because what you put into the Guard is what you will get out of it. At least you have the opportunity to be all that you can be. There are other great options out there, but and this is a big but how many will give you the time, money and opportunity to achieve your career and education goals- by working just 1 weekend a month. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at 808-864-9627. Thank for taking the time to read this and your feedback is welcomed.