COLUMN: Celebrate our young role models

The majority of our youth make positive contributions to their communities.

The young people in our communities are our strength. They do wonderful things and they give us hope for the future.

I do sometimes wonder, though, how they can do as well as they do given the examples that are being set for them.

There has been extensive news coverage of Lower Mainland youth either murdered, in jail, or wanted by the police because of their poor choices. This violence is a result of drug trafficking and turf wars.

This irony was not lost on me, when I watched the news coverage of “4-20,” which celebrates the use of marijuana. This event, at which thousands of people lit up a joint, kept the local hospital busy as many of them ended up in the ER due to excessive levels of drug consumption.

I question what message we are sending our kids with back-to-back news coverage about drug wars and pot parties.

In addition to these mixed messages, our youth are also barraged by media accounts of young Canadians travelling overseas to participate in terrorist activity, and we are updated daily on the civil unrest in the U.S. caused by police use-of-force against mostly young minorities.

Closer to home, we hear about parents that are banned from junior ice hockey rinks, and sports teams that do not even allow parents to attend games due to obnoxious behaviour in the stands.

It is a wonder that our youth know anything but pessimism, when you consider the examples we set as adults and the attention we give to negative behaviour.

Thankfully, the majority of our youth make positive contributions to their communities through their schools, sports teams, religious groups, arts and culture.

We don’t talk enough out about these kids, who aspire to great things and give back through volunteerism. We need to spend more time recognizing those that overcome adversity and challenges, carving positive paths out of difficult terrain. It is important to me that we celebrate our youth and recognize that there are far more good than bad.

I am proud to be working with the Rotary Clubs of North Delta, Ladner and Tsawwassen, to organize the seventh annual Delta Rotary Youth Awards. The youth recognized at this event are our future leaders and quietly do good work in their schools, homes, churches and social circles. The stories are incredible, from a young woman who raised money to purchase headstones for unknown soldiers, to a boy who collected and shipped hundreds of hockey sticks to children in India, to another boy who struggled to overcome the death of his mother – his only support system in the world.

These youth do good without the need to be recognized, they are resilient to the challenges of the world and they are role models for all of us.

On May 14, at the Genesis Theatre in Ladner, we will be honouring these youth who are more than deserving of recognition. If you know of someone between the ages of 10 and 18 you would like to nominate, please contact Leslie Abramson at abramson@telus.net or 604-946-0672.

Jim Cessford is the retired chief of the Delta Police Department. He has spent more than 40 years in law enforcement.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man injured in reported stabbing near Surrey SkyTrain station

Incident happened around 9 p.m. Friday night

PHOTOS: The day 28,000 Lollapalooza-goers rocked Cloverdale in 1994

Fans share memories of drugs, bad Smashing Pumpkins, Nick Cave walk-off and ‘letdown’ of Surrey date

Surrey veteran feels pinch from COVID-19 after cancelled surgery

Caught between two countries, and low income, soldier feels he’s been forgotten

Surrey parents, students navigate remote learning during COVID-19

The Surrey school district teachers are slowly rolling out plans for new way of educating

Two people fined for trying to re-sell N95 and surgical masks in Delta

Police confiscated over 5,000 masks and are working with Fraser Health to see them put to good use

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Vancouver man, 21, charged after mother found dead in Squamish home

Ryan Grantham, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder

Fraser Valley’s tulips fields off limits to visitors due to COVID-19

Abbotsford and Chilliwack tulip farmers have announced their festival season won’t go ahead

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Most Read