State of the Territory | A Salute to the Class of 2024: Heralds of Hope and Resilience

In her bi-weekly column, “State of the Territory,” former Sen. Janelle K. Sarauw delves deeper into issues of concern for V.I. residents.

To the luminous Class of 2024, we extend our heartfelt congratulations. In your hands, you hold the dreams and aspirations of the Virgin Islands. Amidst the trials of brain drain and capacity challenges, you emerge as the brilliant minds destined to fill these voids with your boundless talent and unwavering determination.

You are the future’s architects, the new wave of teachers, accountants, engineers, military leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians, legal luminaries, filmmakers, music moguls, philosophers, dentists, oncologists, chefs, managers, architects, builders, veterinarians, and humanitarians. Among you lies the cure for cancer, the peacemakers, and the visionaries who will carve out a resilient and radiant future for our Virgin Islands.

Ours is a legacy steeped in sacrifice and triumph. Queen Breffu, Kanta, General Buddhoe, and the Four Queens of Frederiksted ignited the flames of freedom. The French stormed the Bastille for revolution; Palestinians rise each day seeking homeland; Jews have battled for existence through the ages. D. Hamilton Jackson’s voice thundered for justice, and Rothschild Francis’s pen etched the path for decolonization. These sacrifices were the foundation upon which you stand to rise and make a difference.

Maya Angelou’s words resonate, “you are the dream and the hope of the slave.” Through the fury of two Category Five storms, the uncertainty of compromised schools, and the isolation of virtual learning in a pandemic, you have risen. Your grit, your resolve, and your intellect shine brightly in a world that needs your light.

Class of 2024, you are the torchbearers of a new dawn. Lift your heads high, and let your spirits soar. The journey ahead is vast and the world awaits your brilliance. The Virgin Islands calls for your innovation, your leadership, and your fiery passion to forge a future united in pride and hope.

Go forth, mighty Class of 2024, and imprint your legacy upon the world!