Why ask young people what they need? Why ask them their visions for their town?

laurahead, laura, headshot
By: Laura Keil, Editor

We often assume what is good or bad for our young people and try to impose our own views.

It’s important to remember that each generation has a particular way of looking at the world. Young people today are immersed in computer technology in a way even I wasn’t, growing up in the 80s and 90s. Let us assume that those changes have led to some paradigm shifts. It’s not “Is it possible?” but “What app would I need for that?”

This is just one reason it’s important to plug into young people – they see possibilities that never used to exist. They are also one of our most precious resources. If they leave we hope they will return to start their career and a family. But many don’t.

There are many good reasons why they wouldn’t return. Many specialized occupations simply don’t have a market in a tiny mountain community. But every person has numerous paths they may take during their lifetime. Why not let our young people feel inspired where they live now so they will remember that feeling later on?

Wherever I am inspired, I return. It’s not because I have to – it’s because I’m drawn there. There’s something special about a place where I feel belonging, where I have a firm footing and the feeling that, yes, I can change something for the better!

This is the feeling I hope our young folks feel before, during and after the Give Youth a Voice workshop on Feb. 13th at 5:00 p.m. at the Visitor Information Centre in Valemount.

The workshop is for youth, parents, and community members to identify ways to enhance activities, opportunities and/or services for youth aged 12-19 years of age based on local priorities.

It’s not about offering the services of a city – we will never be that. But with new ideas, partnerships and technology, I’m confident we’ll discover some truly awesome ways of improving the lives of youth.

By nurturing the dreams of our young folks, we are helping to plant and water a community garden – one that will bear fruit for us all.

Laura Keil