Empowering the Youth for a Better Tomorrow
Youth Ready to Serve
Prepare the Youth for Tomorrow
Preparation is a key factor to success in almost every life endeavor. Preparing the youth for adult responsibilities and for taking their place as future leaders should therefore not be taken for granted. It is the responsibility of the older generation to facilitate this preparation in all its various facets and those of us who do not contribute to this effort are guilty of neglecting our responsibilities to the youth. We cannot, if we do not assist in preparing them adequately to lead tomorrow’s world, turn around and condemn them as failures when, as senior citizens, we do not enjoy the anticipated security and comfort which we feel is our due from society.
Will Adults Support the Emerging Youth?
As an adult are you prepared to assist our youth in at least one aspect of their emergence into adulthood?
Every Adult Should Play a Part
There are numerous ways in which our generation can assist in preparing and empowering the youth for the future. I will attempt to look at three broad areas out of which, I believe, everyone should be able to identify at least one area where he/she could effectively contribute:
1. Proper Parenting
2. Creating Opportunities
3. Providing Support
1. Proper Parenting
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia defines parenting as “the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting refers to the aspects of raising a child aside from the biological relationship”.
Proper parenting is, in my view, a tremendous responsibility. It involves taking a child through the various stages of life, providing the necessary care, discipline, nurturing, love and opportunities for educational, social and spiritual growth. No one is born with all the skills for effective parenting. However, in these times of enlightenment parents are fortunate to be able to access parenting classes or parenting support through social programs within their communities, various online programs and forums or literature on effective parenting available in print as well as electronic formats. Definitely, proper parenting today cannot be considered to be unrealistic.
2. Creating Opportunities
Our generation must assist in creating opportunities for young people to form or participate in groups, clubs, councils, volunteer and paramilitary organizations. We can also assist in making the atmosphere more conducive to the formation and existence of these bodies (be it within the school, church, community or in national organizations) so that young people will be encouraged to engage in meaningful and productive activity.
This type of involvement is an excellent way for young people to develop character. Some youth are naturally ‘mature’ and levelheaded and possess inherent leadership qualities. All they need is nurturing and guidance from supporting adults as they develop into positive contributing citizens. Others develop in time through mentorship and support from more mature and experienced persons. While some young people are enrolled in groups and organizations by their parents, many do so on their own out of a genuine desire to be involved in something positive hence; we should applaud the millions of young people all over the world who are involved in a group or organization which is doing good work. Oh yes, there is good in today youth! Lots of good!
As young people go through the various stages of life, they find their niches in groups based on age, interests, peers, talents etc. For example, memberships in school groups may be based on interests so there might be music groups, drama groups, public speaking clubs, dance groups, hiking clubs, student councils to name a few and students gravitate towards those of their choice. Service clubs and student councils are particularly useful for young people to develop valuable leadership skills while at the same time having fun and enjoying life.
Young People, Get Involved!
Young reader, are you involved in a group,club or organization?
Service clubs are usually headed or supported by adults who serve as mentors to younger members. Some service clubs actually have a youth arm. Among those of international repute are:
- Lions Club International- One of its aims is “to encourage service-minded people to serve their community without personal financial reward and to encourage efficiency and promote high ethical standards in commerce, industry, professions, public works and private endeavors” (Wikipedia, the Free Encycopedia). Lions Club International has a youth program called Leo Club which offers young people the opportunity to serve their communities and make a positive impact. Leo Clubs work under the guidance and mentorship of Lions Clubs and Leos, on reaching the age of majority may graduate into Lions.
- Kiwanis Club International. “Kiwanis is organized to serve children and youth using two approaches. One aspect is to improve the quality of life directly through activities promoting health, education, etc. The other tries to encourage leadership and service among youth. Kiwanis provides leadership and service opportunities for youth through its Service Leadership Programs: Key Club, Circle K, Builders Clubs and K-Kids” (Wikipedia, the Free Encycopedia). Kiwanis enables its youngest leaders to serve their communities, opening doors for them to change the world. Indeed, Key Club International is probably the largest and oldest service leadership organization for high school students in the world while at a higher level Circle K International is the largest collegiate service organization of its kind in the world.
Of course, apart from these international organizations, every country has its own national and community groups and organizations through which young people can grow and flourish. Some of these bodies are totally youth led while others are supported by adult groups. In my country, almost every community has a church or community youth group which is, in turn, part of the parent organization, the Dominica National Youth Council. Through these various bodies, youth are being moulded to assume important leadership roles in the future. Also, there has been increasing youth participation in village councils coming out of youth involvement in student councils and community groups
Student Representative Councils
“A students' representative council, also known as a students' administrative council, represents student interests in the government of a university, school or other educational institution. Generally the SRC forms part of a broader students' association which may include other functions such as societies, entertainments (in the form of a student's union) and sports (in the form of a sports' union). Universities may have a statutory obligation to receive representation from the SRC and it is usual for student representatives from the SRC to form part of university structures including the university court, academic senate and other bodies” (Wikipedia, the Free Encycopedia). Many renowned leaders of recognized institutions and large organizations honed their leadership and management skills through involvement in student councils and other youth organizations.
It is amazing how far young people can reach through activities such as these which expose them to wider knowledge and opportunities to education, training, travel and implementation of important projects; all against a background of fun and enjoyment.
University Students in Leadership
3. Providing Support
Support is an essential ingredient for growth; our very existence depends on the support we receive from our partners, relatives, friends, co-workers etc. Young people need the support of each other, but more importantly, they need the support of our generation for we have already walked the paths. While they are ready and eager to make new discoveries and explore new paths, they still depend on us to a large extent, not to dictate to them or to impose our views on them, but to provide material, psychological and spiritual support and to keep them on track.
If we can assist the youth in at least one of these ways then we will be empowering them to be better people and in empowering the youth to be productive and successful we, of this generation, are making the world better for ourselves, for them and for future generations.
Youth in Society
- The Young Generation - Help Them Succeed
Today's youth are fully aware of the negativity which surrounds them in society, yet despite society's disapprobation , many continue to fight the good fight to change this negative perception.
- Formula for Success for Young People
Formula For Success For Young People : Sound Goals + Education + Training + Computer Skills + Discipline and Commitment + Positive Attitude + Strong Connection With the Almighty God = Successful Life
- Youth - The Wonders of Being Young
Youth is the time to seize opportunities; to take risks; to fall down, pick yourself up and start again; to pursue your dreams and make them come true; to explore new horizons and shape your destiny.
- Leadership - Being a Youth Leader
It is not easy to be a youth leader in today's society as there are many societal pressures which exert strong influences on young people causing them to compromise their values and behave wrongly.
- Youth in Today's Society
We cannot continue to blame the youth for the problems in modern society. “Children learn what they live and they live what they learn” (Dorothy Law Neite), hence adults must model correct behaviors.
© 2015 Joyette Fabien