Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - Opinions



Youth development as important as economic development
by Diane Gubatayao


October 06, 2004

Just returned from an all too short visit to K-town. My intent was to fix up my house and perhaps test the real estate market. But after two days, I scuttled that idea. Ketchikan, for all its woes and tests, remains special to me. Where else can you walk into a credit union and be told you don't need a withdrawal slip? How many places do people stop when they don't have to, just to let your car merge? Where else does everyone you meet greet you so warmly, stranger or acquaintance? Trust me, it's special. But you already know that. The sunshine that graces Ketchikan is not in the sky, it is in the people who live there.

But there are challenges. I wish to remind everyone that youth development is just as important as economic development. A community's wealth is truly measured by their young peoples' health. The loss of Shane White was painfully sad. Yet, in past years, the reality of his death might not have been shared, or the people responsible not pursued. That is positive change. But there is a LOT of work yet to be done. I got a glimpse of the most recent student survey, and while students report strong family support and personal views of their future, one of the lowest assets remains positive adult role models. Only 26% of all students reported that adults in their lives are positive role models. Or stated another way, only 1 out of 4. One out of four. That must change. It is important to note that this is pretty much the same anywhere in the country where the survey is done. And that includes my current, affluent community in California where it is not uncommon for high school stud!
ents to be driving BMWs and Mercedes, or have a weekend allowance of $200. It is totally not about material things, it is about the character and conduct of adults in the lives of young people.

YOU can make a difference, even in small ways. Just acknowledging a young person walking down the street, or volunteering at events, or showing integrity in your work--these all have an impact.

I promise to do my part. I hope you do, too. My best to all; you are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Diane Gubatayao
Davis, CA - USA



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.



Post a Comment -------View Comments

Submit an Opinion - Letter

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska