Time for Youth to Stand Up!
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
December 9, 2010
Last Saturday a nineteen year old college student who had seen me and others cleaning overgrowth of grass and weeds off the sidewalks that morning, approached me at the gym and asked how he might join us in community service. Now granted he needed some community service for one of his classes, but he wanted to join the local neighborhood association as a member too! In a world of all-too-often 60-plus aged members in neighborhood associations, churches, PTA or PTC, youth sports and the list goes on, we sure could use some youthful help!
The strength of these "community service" initiatives is helpful to not just enhancing the beauty and orderliness of our neighborhoods, but to attracting newer especially younger members. I couldn't help but think of myself starting my civic participation so many years ago at age nineteen! And participation made my otherwise dull government class seem exciting! Remember, Ben Franklin said, "tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will learn."
This is just the kind of spark we need to guide our youth, renew our membership and groom leaders for tomorrow! I cannot help but think, "As you sew, so shall you reap!" So just what are the community service initiatives? Graffiti paint-outs, cleaning the area sidewalks and perhaps some of the adjoining easement and perhaps assisting disabled seniors with their own lawns on some qualified basis.
It must include:
- Churches and their youth groups
- All high schools & college government teachers and their students
- City Year
- Boy & Girl Scouts
- Juvenile and Adult (separately) Probationers
- Beautify San Antonio
- Master Gardeners
- Texas AgriLife
- Neighborhood Associations
This is especially needed in a number of areas, including but not limited to those aging, middle income as well as areas struggling to get into the middle strata of our community. That likely describes about half or more of our community. It is not a cure for aging communities but it lends a measure of dignity and respectability to them for all to see.
And, as Texas number one tourist magnet, wouldn't we want visitors to see the best possible reflection of our community?