Letters to the editor
Don’t be just a bystander; help a young person
Is recession really the problem with our youth? Rowan County was where I spent my childhood. I went to high school with people that had potential but threw it away because of bad choices. These choices may be a lack of discipline, raging hormones, or even underlying problems such as mental disorders or disabilities but had little to do with economic status.
I won’t deny most children from wealthy families made fewer poor decisions that impacted them greatly, but in my experience, middle class and lower class, the majority of Rowan families, made the same poor decisions no matter their economic standing.
I believe we focus too much on statistics and not on the root of the problem, a lack of good influences for our children.
Think back to your choices in your youth. What influenced your decisions? I can honestly say my good decisions were based on influential people in my life. When I graduated college, I thought, “Wow, I’m one of the few who made it out of school without a kid or a juvenile record.” But reviewing that thought I realized many people could have avoided these decisions, gone to college and made a better life for themselves if they had someone reach out to them. I’m not talking about a “Scared Straight” ordeal but a person from the community who can be a good influence, a mentor.
Our community is not bad, but we don’t consider getting involved in youth’s lives. One person is all it takes to change the course of a child’s life.
If you can take even 10 minutes out of your day to talk to a child, you could make a better future. Don’t be a bystander to the decline in children’s well-being in North Carolina. Go out and make a change today.
— Heather Barfield