Thursday, December 8, 2011
We have all heard stories of how a single, caring adult can profoundly change the trajectory of a child whose life appears headed for hard times. We encourage people to reach out and engage with the young people around them and to develop the types of meaningful relationships that change lives. But, even if many of us do so, we realize that some of our young people will still be left out. Fortunately, all is not lost. We know that even small actions taken by many people throughout the community can also make a difference. In fact, they can make a BIG difference.
For example, in our local community young people tell us that many adults seem to only notice them when they have done something the adults disapprove of. Changing that perception can lead to a profound change in the experience of youth. If we all made the effort to say something positive to just one young person each day (the cashier at the store, the kid mowing your lawn, the boy who sits on the same bench in the park each day), our youth would have a different experience of this place they call home.
There are many examples of the powerful positive effect of the collective influence, versus that of an individual, on youth development. If we can come together and intentionally address some of the less positive conditions that exist here, we can change the trajectories of many children. The real power to do so comes when we act together... as a community.
We work at the community level because we know it can create significant change for all. We believe that everyone can and should play a part, and that everyone has a stake here. Together, we can make our community a wonderful, supportive place to live...for people of all ages.