Alumni a good resource

Young people often wonder when they will ever use some of the lessons they learn in school. They may believe completing their assignments and exploring fields they aren’t all that interested in is a waste of time.

For those reasons, educators are always seeking ways to demonstrate to students how those lessons can be applied later in life. What better way to do that than to draw on the post-high school experiences of a school’s alumni?

That’s exactly what happened at Buckeye Local High School on Tuesday, when 2011 graduate Phil Diab visited students there. Diab is now a student at Columbia University and recently served as associate producer and creative consultant for an HBO documentary.

Although he admits he was ranked near the bottom of his class in high school, Diab credits the teachers and other staff at Buckeye Local with setting him on a positive path in life. He joined the U.S. Army after graduation and served as a combat cameraman, developing a passion for the film industry even though he hadn’t been very interested in photography or filmography in high school.

His work with the Army caught the attention of HBO, leading to his work on “War Dogs: A Soldiers Best Friend.”

Diab on Tuesday described his experiences in the service, armed with both a camera and a weapon. He told the students he had captured many raw moments on film during his time in the Army, from intense battle scenes to quiet patrols and missions.

The student body then had the opportunity to view “War Dogs” with Diab on hand to answer questions and provide context. He encouraged the students to follow their passions as they discover them and to never discount the value of the teachers and staff at the school.

Good for Buckeye Local officials for recognizing that Diab’s experiences could be interesting to current students. And good for Diab for being so willing to share them and to talk to the students about how important the education they are receiving right now will be to their futures.

Local schools have produced a wide variety of professionals and even national stars. We urge teachers and administrators to invite their alumni to inspire and motivate students to pursue their dreams.