Congratulations to the members of the Class of 2023, who overcame formidable challenges to get where they are today.

First, they survived Hurricane Irma, which transformed the territory. Then they survived the Covid-19 pandemic, which transformed the globe.

As the first post-pandemic class, they are now entering a world that is much more keenly aware of its vulnerabilities. But it is also a world on the cusp of even bigger changes expected to emerge out of artificial intelligence and other burgeoning technology.

Perhaps most importantly for graduates, it is a world where opportunities abound for young people.

For generations, Virgin Islands graduates have been lucky. They are eligible for free tertiary education at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, as well as government scholarships to study abroad, numerous internship programmes in the territory, and myriad job opportunities in financial services, tourism and other sectors.

Today, ongoing global developments further brighten the outlook for members of the Class of 2023. Consider, for instance, the pandemic-era surge in remote working, which means many of them will be  able to live and work anywhere they want.

Such digital transformation also means new opportunities here at home, as it feeds the economic pillars of financial services and tourism while opening the door for fintech and other new sectors.

Able workers and creative entrepreneurs will be needed to help guide the territory into this new future.

This is not to say that success will be easy. It rarely is. To make the most of their many opportunities, graduates must be prepared to roll up their sleeves and get to work, eschewing the promises of easy money that have drawn so many young people down the wrong path in recent years.

The community must help them out. To that end, employers should do all they can to give graduates a leg up. If they can’t offer a job, they should offer an internship — or even an open house where young people can visit and learn.

Ultimately, however, each graduate must take responsibility for their own success.

We wish them the best of luck. With hard work, their futures are bright indeed.