Where were the TV camera crews and the reporters? Why no headlines in the papers or segments on the nightly news? Yesterday evening, over 500 young people, predominantly ages 14-17, came on their own to the 2014 Youth Opportunities Fair hosted by Congressman Andre Carson in cooperation with the Marion County Commission On Youth, Inc. (MCCOY) and Shortridge Magnet High School. They came out to talk with over 40 community agencies, churches, and educational programs who are offering young people in our community positive opportunities for the summer months—and beyond. Some youth were able to apply for summer jobs; others signed up for community service, or summer learning programs, or community arts activities. Every young person walked away with knowledge of the many resources our community has to support their growth and development.
At a time when many seem to hold the belief that young people aren’t motivated or are just looking for the easy way out or are threats to public safety, here was a great example of a large number of youth who were willing to seek out and take advantage of positive, productive, and skill building opportunities that will help them develop into better people, better workers, and better citizens in the future.
Thanks to all our community partners who came and offered opportunities to these over 500 young people who attended. You are making a great difference. Thanks to all those youth who took on the responsibility of seeking out ways to improve their lives—you are an inspiration. It’s just kind of sad that we did not have anybody there to spread the good news to the broader community that our youth are fine people!
President, MCCOY Inc.