Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tip Tuesday: Save Our Youth

I recently went to a community meeting to talk about the issues with gun violence and how we can protect our community from it. It was focused on youth and spoke about the causes of gun violence, but didn't quite get to the solutions. There were different races in the room, which pleased me, but instead of being a constructive brainstorming session, it was more like  a sharing session. Those needing a place to be heard about the hardships they had faced, and more specifically the hardships they faced with police. 

I'm glad I was present, even though I was discouraged not enough solutions were tossed around. The whole reason that working in youth development moves me so much is the possibility to be a mentor to a young person who may not have anyone else. And maybe, just maybe, you are that person who will help them truly succeed. 

So where as I couldn't voice my ideas for solutions in the meeting, I'm taking the power of this blog to voice them here. If you too want to see the youth of today have strong and successful futures, thus creating a strong society for us all, read a few of my tips on how to do that. 

1. Mentor, mentor, mentor!  I believe that those of us who have had a positive upbringing and have found success in our lives have a responsibility to assist others in doing the same thing. I'm not implying that you can change someone, but you can be that positive influence in their life that can help them find their own way. Check into these avenues for mentoring:
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Girl Scouts
Energizing Education 
The Hub Teen Center 

2. Report positive things going on to the media. People may have too many bad things to say about "kids today". But when you know of youth doing something positive help spread that word. It may inspire others to do the same. Email addresses are listed by each reporter's stories. Get in touch with them! They are always looking for content.

3. Talk about gun violence in schools and youth centers. I haven't been in school in 10 years and to my recollection there wasn't much education about gun violence in schools. If you are in a position to speak of this in schools, take the opportunity to do it.