Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Perspectives from Herkimer Youth

On the RCIL blog, we often write about policy issues and perspectives on state or national issues. Today, however, we've invited the members of the Herkimer Youth Leadership group to write a guest post. We hope to provide a platform for them in the future.

The Herkimer Youth Leadership group would like to introduce ourselves. We have many interests and many things we are good at or enjoy doing. One young woman is a wonderful caretaker of animals and she enjoys singing karaoke. Many of us are really good at playing video games. Some of us are excellent at the computer. Several of us love music, drawing, writing and dancing. One young man says he is especially skilled at woodworking. Those who do volunteer work are quite proud of their accomplishments. This includes working at the Humane Society and the Sarah Ann Woods Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Today our facilitator asked This question: “If you could change anything about yourself or your community, what would it be?” Here are their responses:

1) I would lower gas prices and make electric cars more available to people
2) I would stop the fighting in the world
3) I would make sure all the children could play safely outside. I would stop bullies.
4) I want people to open their eyes and see what is happening (at the sheltered workshop.) I think the hotshots from the main building should come over and have to sit there for hours and see if they like it. The only thing I would change about myself is my job.
5) I would stop arguing with people and be more patient.
6) Several youth said they did not need or want to change anything about themselves, stating “because I like myself exactly as I am!”

This month, one youth was asked “who has inspired you, and how did they help you?” One young man eagerly volunteered to be the first in the group to respond.

“There is one person who has inspired me a lot. Her name is Tracy Sommer. She has always been there for me. She taught me to be myself. She inspired me to advocate for myself. I’ve known her three years. If it wasn’t for her none of the good things (in my life) would be happening. I can be my goofy self around Tracy. But she also taught me stuff like how to manage my money and all the different programs that are out there for me.”  -Jason Peterson, member of the Herkimer Youth Leadership group

- Members of the Herkimer Youth Leadership group