Poem by: Caroline Levine

The value of education 
is more than we can mine. 
But without our values 
no gold, will we find. 

Excellence can be seen in
the glitter of all gold. 
But what use is a shining stone—
torn from land, unknown—
if the world so readily
forgets all integrity
and stores it on its own?

With excellence, comes responsibility. 
And, in this, the ability
to come together now 
and whenever we should,
to help the common good. 

Yet here we are—
so different from each other. 
So easy to forget
the beauty of diversity. 
Though conflict, pain, and adversity
still will rear their heads,
in the world we make together,
love and hope will lie ahead. 

Perhaps, then, we will discover
the importance of perspective
on ourselves and how we think—
that would be effective.

But with all this, comes respect—
something oft misunderstood. 
For, more than just our elders—
our peers, our friends, our youth—
share the duty to be kind
and remember this simple truth:

The world around will grow and change, 
sometimes for better, sometimes worse,
but any damage that we’ve done, 
we shall soon reverse.

And with a final thought,
we turn our heads to freedom—
a value of expression.
For, there is no truth in a world
where we never ask a question.

Know that freedom is the fire 
and inquiry, the ember.
So, to spread our wings,
we must always remember:

Live in wonder, wonder in living.

Let your thoughts explore
every curiosity around you
and open every door.
For, the gold you think you know,
cannot be found in dirt. 
Treasure is around us,
but wealth is less overt.

So, our mines may be our minds
and our gold may be our souls, 
but with the power of our hammers
we can transform the world in ways