Written by: John Brandon, President of MCCOY, Inc.
“A person’s image of his or her future may be a better predictor of his/her future success than his/her past behavior” is a piece of wisdom that many times we fail to grasp, especially when we come face to face with some of the behavior problems of some youth in our world today. It is so easy for us adults—and I include myself among the guilty—to attach a label to a young person, slotting them into a certain set of expectations which are usually quite low. Our classification takes away their opportunity to grow beyond their current behavioral issues and causes us to deny them the opportunity to reach what they are grasping for: acceptance, belonging, a positive and caring relationship based on trust which can give a young person the courage to believe in themselves. And without that belief in the goodness of themselves, it WILL be difficult to succeed. It is the classic definition of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It is time for us to change the future and give every child and youth in our community the supports, the opportunities, the experiences, and the relationships they need to grow into positive, productive, and contributing adults. We might make excuses—but we have no excuse. We might say we can’t afford it—but we can’t afford NOT to. We might say it is an impossible task—but something is only impossible until somebody does it. There are over 200, 000 reasons in Marion County for us to step up and do what needs to be done. The question is: WILL WE? Please join us in the work of positive youth development; let’s make our community a place where young people believe deeply in themselves and in their futures.