A Letter to the High School Graduating Class of 2024

An open letter to the high school graduating Class of 2024


By Dr. Mathew Holton

Superintendent, Chaffey Joint Union High School District


OK, now what?


You’ve probably asked yourself that, even if you have made plans to go to college, learn a trade, or serve our country in the military. It’s human nature to want to know what lies ahead, when in truth it’s the journey that matters.


To be where you are, at the threshold of that journey, is something you might appreciate later in life more than you do now. But what you are about to experience truly is the opportunity of a lifetime.


Take advantage of it. Embrace the future. And perhaps most important, put yourself in the best position to fulfill your dreams. That means continuing your education in one form or another.


There are so many opportunities out there to do just that. There are trade schools, vocational training, and apprenticeships. Our region is blessed with great community colleges and four-year universities, offering certifications and degrees in some of the most high-demand and interesting career fields.


On top of all of that, we live in a region of unlimited opportunities. The Inland Empire is seen far and wide as the new heart of Southern California. We are going to grow by another 1 million people in the next 25 years, as more and more people see the IE as the place they want to be and where the opportunity to build a life, establish a career, and make a difference is so strong.


The future of healthcare, green energy, transportation technology, and cybersecurity – just to name a few – is taking place right here in our backyard. It’s world-changing stuff and will require a whole new generation of change-makers to keep it going.


Perhaps never in history has there been a generation better suited to seize these opportunities. You started your high school journey in the midst of a global pandemic, saw the world change before your eyes, and inspired the rest of us with your resiliency and ability to adapt with the times. Every day, you reaffirm that our future is in the best possible hands and that regardless of any new challenges ahead, you possess the courage and determination to deal with them.


It has been our privilege to serve you these past four years. Our lives as educators have been enriched by your energy, your ideas, and the possibilities you offer for a better world. On behalf of your teachers, your classmates, and everyone else you have inspired, I look forward to seeing where your journey takes you as you pursue your dreams and be the change you know you can be.