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Letter: One graduate’s story

Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 10:43 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, May 15, 2014 8:23 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

He was her grandson. It seemed he had always known what he wanted to be. It just did not include joining his father’s profession. His father finally issued his ultimatum – he would receive no financial help whatsoever.

As she continued, I leaned back and listened. Really listened because her pride so clearly outshone her distress.

Jace entered college, which incidentally, was Northern Illinois University. He arrived with nothing but his clothing and his bicycle. But far more important, his determination.

He secured a full-time, night-shift factory job and an off-campus room, and registered for his classes. And he was mocked by many of the other students. He didn’t have the time nor the energy, you see, to do much socializing. He was working, studying, shoveling snow, mowing lawns and sleeping in between. And every week, she shyly added, she left him homecooked meals to help him insure that he ate properly.

After four grueling years, Jace finally graduated. He was immediately hired as a high school athletics coach – exactly what he had always dreamed of, she continued, bursting with pride. But Jace’s latest perspective, she confessed, is what really stumped her. In his own words, she recounted, “he said he had resented his father’s earlier actions, but he later came to realize that he would never have known what he could have accomplished by himself otherwise.”

How interesting in this day and age. Kudos to Jace and may he spread his influence to all the youth with whom he comes in contact.

Joann Barry


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