By Joseph Branco
February 04, 2005
So here is our first Interview with one our Future Leaders. It is an honor to be able to facilitate the medium to officially introduce Jennifer Lynn Lluellyn and present her leadership and some of her views with our community.
Q: Age? Year in school?
A: 18, Senior in high school
Q: Please tell us about organizations, clubs, extra curricular activities you are/have been involved with and any titles you have held:
A: ADFY youth leader, Peer helper, Patchworks Youth Director, Courtesy Person of the year (Rotary award)
Q: What would you like to accomplish in your lifetime?
A: Go to college, get married,
have and raise healthy kids, buy a house, write a book, be happy.
Q: What kind of career do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
A: Anything that will allow me to communicate with and help people in my community.
Q: What do you think is the most important characteristic of a successful leader?
A: Passion, you have to desire and believe in whatever it is you're succeeding in with all your heart.
Q: Many, including myself, consider you a leader and a true voice for the young people in Ketchikan. What makes you such a successful role model and leader?
A: I think people view me as a role model or leader because I have convictions; I've made decisions about how I'm going to live my life. I'm drug free; I get along with most people and can find common grounds with them. I'm accepting and understanding. At least, that's what I hope people see in me.
Q: What is something we would be shocked to find out about you?
A: I could just as easily be one of "those darn teens" but I've consciously chosen to be the way that I am. I've been through a lot of the things these troubled teens have and instead of letting the experiences chew me up and spit me back out, I took them in stride and decided that they would only make me stronger.
Q: What are the most difficult issues young people in Ketchikan face today?
A: Drugs, alcohol, depression (which opens a can of worms to much, much more)
Q: What is there not enough of in Ketchikan?
A: Awareness, not enough of Ketchikan realizes that we have problems and not enough people are taking initiative to do something about them. It's easy to blame the youth for the decay of society but it's not so easy to admit to being an accomplice because you didn't do anything to stop or prevent it.
Q: What is there too much of in Ketchikan?
A: Gossip. We're a relatively small town, and I love that I can walk into any business or public place and see 10 people I know on a regular basis. What I can't stand is to hear horrible gossip that has been so construed I don't know whether to believe it or not. Gossip is gossip people, never believe or pass along anything that you haven't heard directly from the "horse's mouth"
Q: If you could add a service, facility, or organization to Ketchikan that does not already exist, what would you add?
A: I could say we need a skate park, a bigger mall, or a bridge to the mainland because that's a lot of what I hear. In reality I think Ketchikan is slowly growing and creating the right services and organizations. What we need to concentrate on is keeping and perfecting them because too many come and go. Learning to expand and cater these to the prevailing culture is what's most important.
Q: If you could add a subject to be taught in high school, what would it be?
A: An awareness and acceptance class. Ketchikan's only a dot on the map, there is so much more out there and people live life so much differently than we do in some places. Living in Ketchikan creates a separate reality from the rest of the world and I think if we could be taught to understand these cultures more we'd be better prepared to move somewhere else for college or a career. In the even bigger picture it might create a more peaceful future.
Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: Dumb questions, haha, I jest. People that are in a hurry. I admit sometimes I'm guilty of this but when you let yourself get in a hurry you're often inconsiderate and willing to cut people off or shove them out of your way to get where you need to go. Nobody likes dealing with people like that.
Q: What should the local government do with regards to the young people in Ketchikan?
A: There should be more representation of young people in the government. Sure we have youth court and that's a great thing but they're only acting in the judicial sense of government. If we had youth in the borough and city council they'd be acting in the executive branch, helping make decisions and lending a different view on how laws will affect us, or to help create laws to benefit us.
Q: Tell me your thoughts on censorship in America?
A: If parents had more control over their children they wouldn't have to worry about them seeing or hearing something they don't want them to. A parent should be able to use their judgment of when their child is mature enough and knows the difference between reality and make-believe. Movies, music and video games can't be blamed for the immorality of a person. A child's upbringing should be more stimulating than a television, if it is, that child will gain it's morality from that upbringing and not the media.
Q: At what point does complaining about your country and its leadership cross the line into treason?
A: Unless by complaining you mean shooting the president, I don't think such a line exists. And if it does, it should be abolished because America was founded because everyone was tired of being afraid of the king. If we hadn't protested, to such a treasonous degree, America wouldn't be.
Q: Is Wal-Mart good or bad for America? Why?
A: Honestly, I don't know.
America is a capitalist country that thrives on the circulation of money. It's my impression that Wal-Mart has the capability to put many small businesses out of business, but I don't think we owe our incredible nation deficit in part to Wal-Mart though.
Q: Do you think having "Under God" printed on US currency violates the concept of "Separation of Church and State"?
A: I do. I realize that it's "something that's been around for 200 years and part of the founding of our country" blah blah blah, but LOT'S of things were socially acceptable in our country then that are not now.
Q: What is the best way to deter drug use among youths?
A: Toughen up, nothing is worked
so far so start making examples of kids that are caught.
Q: Last question. What can the community do to aid in the intellectual, social, and emotional development of our young people?
A: Get more involved. I am not talking about the people that are already up to their ears in involvement either. Find a way to reach the kids that have fallen through the cracks. I think with many of these "lost" teens, we have the mentality that it's "too late". It's never too late!
Contact Joseph Branco at email@example.com