While many continue onto higher education, others look for a different path to ease the financial strain on their families.
It's the night high school seniors make the step from adolescence to adulthood. Vickie Rivers scanned Moanalua High School's graduating class for her daughter genesis.
"Woooo, there she is!! Get it girl!," said Parent Vickie Rivers.
Like classes of 2009 across the country, these students enter into a world of economic uncertainty.
"We will help her as much as we can but we will need her assistance as well," said Vickie Rivers.
They must dig deeper more than any graduates before them. With diplomas in hand, they must now adapt to a world of furloughs, bad finances and friction. Instead of jumping right to college, they're thinking J-O-B.
"Parents have helped them get this far so I think they almost feel an obligation to it at this point in their lives because of the economic situation," said Vickie Rivers.
Some will go to college on scholarships. Genesis Rivers will either look for a part-time job or seek other ways to lessen the financial load on her family.
"I'm going into the military, into the Army, to serve my country," said Graduating Senior Genesis Rivers.
"You can help yourself and not just say give me something, give me something," said Parent Lawrence Rivers.
"The economy has its struggles but we got to our best, work hard," said Genesis Rivers.
It's not sure what awaits the sea of white and blue graduates, as their individual battles begin to become something, in this uncertain world.