Go forth and succeed, class of 2014!

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“You will fail, repeatedly. There’s no escaping it. And you will feel stupid and unaccomplished, but that’s part of the process. Don’t obsess about the future. You’re only 18, and no one wants crow’s feet at 18.
     If you’ve opted out of going to college, take that low-paying job, pay your dues and don’t ever say, ‘That’s not part of my job description.’”
Stapha Charleme, Herald intern, Hofstra University student

“Take a stand. Be proud of who you are. Strive for excellence.”
Howard Lev, Temple B’nai Torah, Wantagh

“A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships were built for. You only get one go at life; make it count. Find your passion, then find a way to make that your career. Work hard at it, and stay focused. You’ll fail plenty of times, but don’t quit. Most people only quit once, and never return. Don’t be like most people.”
Dave Herman, president, Franklin Square Chamber of Commerce

“Embrace technology. Learn all you can about the latest hardware and software, but don’t think that the tools are more important than the story, the people around you, the big issues of life. Listening, learning, reading, thinking critically, showing up early, staying late, loving, walking, working with dedication, playing with passion and showing appreciation — these are far more valuable than Facebook or Instagram. Neither wisdom nor love nor happiness comes in 140 characters.”
John O’Connell, executive editor, Herald Community Newspapers

“Dream — just not during the day. Remember Woody Allen’s advice: 80 percent of success is showing up.”
Frank Chiachiere, Board of Education trustee, District 13 and Valley Stream Central High School District

“Your graduation party isn’t your retirement party. Commit to being a lifelong learner. Choose a career path that will enrich you and also enable you to assist others. That is a recipe for lifetime happiness.”
Brian Conboy, superintendent of schools, Seaford

“Education is a privilege. Don’t get so sidetracked in college that you forget your reason for being there. There will always be more parties, but there won’t be another midterm. There won’t be extra credit available to you because you overslept or just couldn’t be bothered. Be passionate about achieving your goals.”
Mary Elizabeth Petrigliano, administrative assistant, Franklin Square

“Dr. Seuss said, ‘Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.’ That’s what I told my children before they went off to college. So far it’s working.”
Pamela Dempsey, president, Wantagh Civic Association

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