The young generation is often the target of criticism, often by members of the older generation who, for varying reasons, have developed a negative impression of today's kids.
To be sure, there are some bad applies in every basket, but it's important to remember that the young generation has a great many positive examples and they don't often seem to get the respect they deserve.
Recently the province recognized some of these shining examples through the 13th annual Great Kids Awards program. Two of the 16 kids and youths from ages five to 17 who were recently honoured were from southern Alberta. As indicated in a March 9 story in the Lethbridge Herald, 12-year-old Keirsten Standing Alone of Lethbridge is a jingle dress dancer who participates in powwows, and also a member of her school's "Me to We" group which works on community efforts such as collecting food bank donations and raising awareness of child-labour issues. Fifteen-year-old Alison Lee of Coaldale has dedicated her time to environmental protection projects, volunteers at the local food bank, has been on the national stage for both racquetball and science fairs, and has raised nearly $9,000 for a child sexual abuse treatment centre.
On April 24, Volunteer Lethbridge will hold its annual Leaders of Tomorrow Gala which will recognize a host of outstanding youth volunteers in Lethbridge and area.
These programs are an indication that southern Alberta is blessed with a healthy supply of youthful volunteers. In fact, statistics from Volunteer Alberta indicates that 56.7 per cent of those in the 15-24 age group volunteer their time. This suggests that the pattern of volunteering is being established early in the lives of many Albertans and that is an encouraging sign for the future, since many organizations rely heavily on volunteer help and couldn't provide the services they do without these dedicated volunteers.
These young volunteers are setting a positive example of community involvement that is not only helping their communities, but other citizens as well.
With young people such as these as our leaders of tomorrow, the future looks bright.
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