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Health of community depends on old growth and new growth
By Diane Gubatayao


August 12, 2005

Mary and Dick Kauffman, you are the best. Thank you so much for your continued time, energy and measureless hours devoted to sustaining this website. I especially appreciate Mary's recent profile on VISTA volunteer, Steven Alvarez. What an awesome example of a community asset builder. Initially, he shared that he was inclined to fault adults in the community for the challenges facing youth--such as the high drop out rate of capable students or the high incidence of illicit drug use. Mary portrayed the transformation in his thinking, the discovery that it is a shared responsibility. And therein lie the solutions. For years PATCHWorks and the Revilla Island Prevention Coalition have promoted youth/adult partnerships as a way to strengthen the community. Ketchikan Youth Initiatives is a powerful demonstration of that partnership and I hope it thrives.

It reminds me of the spectacular Tongass forest surrounding Ketchikan. The health of the forest, like the Ketchikan community, depends on the old growth and the new growth. They need and protect each other much like the adults and youth need each other.

I honor so many of you in Ketchikan, for whether or not you perceive it, there is progress in youth/adult relations. Considering the limited commmunity resources, you are leaps and bounds ahead of communities in Calfornia that have far more. Your wealth is measured in the more important one of human relationships. I wish KYI and Steven Alvarez a bright future.

Diane Gubatayao
Davis, CA - USA


Related story:

Alvarez's Year Long Service In Ketchikan Positive... By M.C. Kauffman
August 05, 2005





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