Rep. Scanlon’s Message to High School Class of 2021

Dear Future Leader,

All eyes are on you this month as we celebrate the Class of 2021’s accomplishments and anticipate your next adventures.

Your high school experience has been unique in many ways, and not at all what you expected, but you’re coming out on the other side stronger and ready to take on the world! Despite the many challenges you’ve faced, you and your classmates persevered. Not even a once-in-a-generation pandemic that spanned two school years could stop you.

Today, we are at the tail end of a global health crisis that shook our country to its core and changed the course of history.

And as we watched the world change before our eyes, we also saw the unrelenting strength and determination of young people in the United States and across the globe. We saw students pick up jobs to help support their families, take to the streets to support a cause in which they deeply believed, and donate their time and savings to help others in need.

I have never been more inspired or more hopeful for our country.

Your generation has been dealt a series of bad hands, but you didn’t give up. Your passion, perseverance, and refusal to take no for an answer are exactly what we need right now. You are shaping a path to a better world — one that is safer, healthier, and more equitable.

Never underestimate the power you have, as individuals and as a group, to effect change. Whether you realize it or not, your energy and activism in recent years have shifted the national conversation around issues like gun violence, racial justice, and the climate crisis. We are at an inflection point — where the forces of history, technology, and science are reorienting priorities and approaches for the next generation — and you have already shown your ability and willingness to lead.

But you know as well as I do that there is much more work to do. I hope I can count on all of you to continue doing your part in this fight for a better future — for your generation and those still to come.

I look forward to working with you, and for you, to build that better future.

Congratulations!

Mary Gay Scanlon currently serves a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District.