Posted on: Thu, 04/26/2018 - 09:00

As I visit with seniors in high schools across the county, I am always impressed by the insights they share with me.  I want to pass some of their wisdom along in this and future blog posts.

The 10 students sitting around the table reflected the diversity of their school. They happily recounted the activities they participated in during their high school career and shared many things that they appreciated about their experiences in Frederick County Public Schools.  However, the thing that impressed me the most was their empathy.

These students from Governor Thomas Johnson High School were proud of the diversity within their school and grateful for the opportunity to meet and learn about students from other cultures. They took time to listen to each other’s stories. They took time to make everyone feel welcome. They recognized that they had much in common. And they also realized how fortunate many of them were because of the challenging circumstances faced by their classmates.

These students spoke readily of the importance of helping others. They demonstrated compassion and a commitment to creating a better society. It did not surprise me when the word they felt best described their graduating class was “nice.” One could easily sense the camaraderie in the group.

When I left these delightful young adults, I felt hopeful. They have definitely learned much in high school, but the things they have learned as members of a diverse community will benefit them the most in the future. Their empathy will benefit all of us!

“Empathy may be the single most important quality that must be nurtured to give peace a fighting chance.” –  Arundhati Ray

Tell me about a time when you’ve been impressed by the empathy of our young people. I’d love to hear from you on Twitter @FCPSMDSuper. And if you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter.