It takes a village to raise a child. This old saying is spoken by many, in different venues and with the idea of what it takes to create a better next generation for our community. But speaking about what it takes to successfully raise a child is a far cry from doing what it takes. As a community we need to step up, take the hands of all our children and show them the way. Every child deserves a chance to hope and see what the future could hold for them, no matter what neighborhood they were born in.
As the mother of two small children, I hope every minute of every day I am setting a good example and being a good role model for them. There are too many children in our community that do not have a parent that can play that role. These children are forced to become adults way too early, just to survive and get through the day. So many of our community’s youth can barely see past today and don’t have the hope to even think about tomorrow. We as a community can come together and be that “village”, help them to not repeat the actions and crimes of the previous generation and just show them we care.
The youth are our community’s greatest resource and for the future success of our community we need to invest time into this resource. Many studies have been done in regard to the impact mentoring has on children and their future success. These numerous studies show that children with a positive role model are more likely to avoid violence and substance abuse, have better performance in school, and more positive relationships with their parents and peers. If you take the time to say “Hello”, to listen and just let a kid know you believe in them, you can make a huge difference in the life of a child.
Members of the Leadership Erie County Class of 2007are accepting the challenge of creating and maintaining a mentoring program for the deserving youth at the Erie County Juvenile Center. As leaders in our community, our goal is to reach out to these kids and offer an ear to listen, constructive use of their time and the hope of making a difference in their lives. In order to make this a successful and fully sustainable program, we are calling out to the “village” to step up and contribute a small amount of time to make a huge impact.
Our community has so much to offer our youth, if we choose to open our hearts and help.
Organizations such as Boys Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Center for Cultural Awareness, CASA, Churches and other Civic Organizations are doing what they can to make a difference in a child’s life. There is only so much these organizations can do without the help of volunteers. When you choose to volunteer your time, you are not only changing a life, you are also working towards a better tomorrow for our entire community.