Blog 2: Important Information Need of a Community
I believe there to be a specific need for information to generate from the youth of every community. Because voters and law makers only include the age bracket of eighteen and older, there is a missing voice on particular issues. It’s important for citizens to hear out and understand how the future of their community views the world and what problems they are currently facing.
Youth concerns may include school districts and their success, or lack there of, in providing a sound education. Maybe there is a need for more options in the way of after school care for kids with working parents. Communities may want to host more structured events where youth can be directly involved in the planning and participating. Or perhaps the youth in a community are seeing an escalating issue with underage drinking, drug use or bullying. Whatever the cause, how else are we to know of these growing concerns? I say, who better to ask then the youth facing these issues?
Perhaps this holds great importance to me as I am only 4 years out of high school and still remember my public school career quite well. What went on during school hours was completely unrecognized by the community or in other words, by those who could make a difference. In my hometown community most were probably unaware of the weekly incentive of Wendy’s frostys awarded to the class who went an entire week without a fight. What was probably even more unknown, was that my graduating class never received the incentive as we were unable to go the full week. The community might also find it shocking to discover that my tenth grade geometry teacher with tenure assumed my test answers to be correct over his and proceeded to use my test as the answer key. Or maybe they would like to know that on days he didn’t feel like teaching his wife would drop by and visit while we sat there completing our assignment to color pictures of mathematicians. It especially doesn’t speak well for the city’s education system when test scores have been below standard for so long that students within the district can now opt out of attending classes and commute to a neighboring school district if they so choose. The only way of waving a red flag on issues such as these is to generate more youth involvement.
Granted, youth input on every ballot issue would not be conducive to the community but perhaps having an annual or bi-annual platform for youth to express concerns could be extremely eye opening for the before mentioned eighteen and older age bracket.The goal is for youth to realize their voice matters and for the community to find legitimacy in what the younger generation has to say. Another added benefit is by experiencing their voice making changes, it’ll encourage continuous community involvement later in life.
I believe gathering and distributing information from the youth would be a success because between parents, teachers and law makers youth have a very strict set of rules in place to follow. This constant feeling of restriction could be somewhat relieved by being given the chance to be taken seriously. Unlike adults who might be jaded or biased toward one particular way or the other, the youth of a community don’t have anything to lose. They are not financially invested in a particular side or party. This opportunity would simply be for an overall betterment in areas that may not seem relevant to those of us who are so far removed from the younger generation. Youth would be excited for their opinions to matter, to be heard and to work toward change.
Here is a link showing how youth are impacting their local communities.