So, I challenge the Class of 2014 to help put America back on track. Whether choosing to enter the workforce, obtain vocational training, pursue higher education, volunteer, or serve one’s country, it’s more important than ever for our youngest generations to dream big and understand the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
That’s why I make it a priority to foster robust representative government and strengthen civics education. That includes visiting regularly with students in their schools. I want to hear what’s on their minds and challenge them to get involved and tune in to current events. Recently I cosponsored a bipartisan resolution that affirms the importance of teaching civics education in our schools. It puts the U.S. Senate on record that we must reinforce the principles of self-government so future generations will understand how to hold government to account.
Research shows an erosion of basic knowledge about our constitutional government, such as the natural rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the functions of the three branches of government. And growing cynicism about the institutions of government and public service reflect a growing disconnect between “we the people” and the healthy functioning of self- governance. Apathy is damaging to the crop of new graduates who will sow the seeds of America’s prosperity for posterity.
Dream big, Class of 2014. As farmers working the fields this spring have known for generations, you will reap what you sow.