Believe in the Good

A kid will never feel significant until you give them something significant to do.”–Reggie Joiner

I am incredibly fortunate to work with young people. It’s where my heart is and I’m so blessed that I get to wake up and do what I love every day. Some days, though, are just a bit sweeter than others. Those are the days that I just sit back and watch with a bit of awestruck wonder at what young lives are capable of.

Last spring I met with the incoming leadership team for student council. Their excitement for a new year of dance themes, spirit days, and service to others was contagious. We touched on service projects for the upcoming year and when I mentioned thinking outside of our local community, their eyes lit up. The conversation turned toward making a global difference and before we knew it a project was born–our students committed to raising money to build a fresh water well in Uganda. A big endeavor for a small group of teens–but the very idea of doing something good for people on the other side of the world ignited them with enthusiasm and purpose.

Adults can learn so much from young people. These students charge forth, full-speed ahead, with confidence that they can reach their financial goal. They are learning about the struggles that people in impoverished countries face and are dedicated to changing the landscape for them. They believe they can make a difference–even when others (often adults) tell them they can’t. They work hard, play hard, and they don’t hesitate to sacrifice for the good of others. Yes, these are people that I want to watch–I want to capture their energy, enthusiasm, optimism, and heart. They are embarking on something significant and it is my hope that it is a value and characteristic that continues to grow in and through them in the future.

Too often we only hear about the negative when it comes to this upcoming generation. We read about how they are lazy, we assume they only think about themselves based on the “selfies” they take, and we conclude that they lack drive because society portrays them as an entitled generation.

I see something different. I see a generation who wants to make a difference–a generation who will and can do significant things. We just need to give them a chance. An opportunity, And the faith that they can do it.

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Kids collecting dirty water in the village of Aputon-Koreng in Uganda. Soon they will have clean water to drink thanks to the vision and hard work of students @ Thompson Valley High School

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