The Garden City Telegram
6/27/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Teen success

Many young people find ways to make solid contributions.

Teenagers often get a bad rap due to the unwelcome acts of some of their peers.

While a number of teens do indeed get into trouble — missteps that often garner plenty of attention — it's always heartwarming to see the good accomplished by so many others.

Count an effort to raise funds for tornado victims in Moore, Okla., as one example.

A group of Garden City teens and young adults recently organized a benefit concert at Stevens Park to help Moore residents recover from a May tornado that devastated much of the community.

The group raised more than $2,500 through the concert and other fundraising efforts. They planned to deliver the proceeds to Moore and volunteer to help with the cleanup.

Young people involved in such projects have much to learn from the experience as they witness the plight of others less fortunate, and work toward ways to help out. Such valuable life lessons promise to benefit teens as they are on the brink of adulthood, and look to be tomorrow's leaders.

Of course, youth also contribute on the home front.

Among the many notable efforts would be participation in the city's Neighborhood Improvement Project (NIP), which has people of all ages picking up trash and aiding in other cleanup efforts around the community.

The list could go on and on when it comes to positive pursuits taken on by youth eager to make a difference.

Effective community service projects materialize as part of school-based assignments, such as recent Buff Projects from Garden City High School students and various group activities.

Youngsters involved in scouting, 4-H, church and other organizations and extracurricular activities also pursue many projects designed to make their community a better place to live.

Teens learn meaningful lessons by participating in such endeavors. Perhaps the most important, when they contribute in their hometown, would be in discovering how important they can be to the success of their community.

Such acts at home and beyond promise to pay off in many ways. At a time many teenagers are unfairly labeled as troublemakers, their positive contributions should never go unnoticed.