Young people today are still basically good

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 18, 2000

L’Observateur / October 18, 2000

DEAR EDITOR: No one can escape the disturbing and shocking headlines today about young people gone wrong: teen-age mothers secretly giving birth and then throwing away their new-borns; youngsters barely out of elementary school on killing rampages with shotguns; and young people getting drawn into gangs and their endless cycle of violence and crime.

It might be hard for people to believe that, though these stories are tragic, they are indeed the exception rather than the rule. The fact is thatcountless teen-agers today are raising money and awareness toward good causes, promoting a clean, safe environment, and going out of their way to make the lives of the less fortunate a little brighter. When I hear aboutthese young people making a difference in their communities, I am encouraged. It is a shame that the good news doesn’t make the headlines theway the bad news does.

We at Prudential are trying to spread the good news with a program that recognizes young people for community volunteerism, and inspires others to lend a hand. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, now in its sixthyear, has brought to our attention 10’s of thousands of young people across the country who are driven by their desire to make the world a better place.

These are the ones who are destroying the negative stereotypes of young people today. I am proud and inspired by the fact that these students will betomorrow’s leaders. I know that our future is in great hands.The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, honor middle and high school students across America for outstanding acts of community service. Awards are granted at the local and state levels, and then 10National Honorees will be named at a special ceremony in Washington, May. If you know any young people in grades five-12 who deserverecognition for volunteer service, urge them to contact their school principal, Girl Scout leader, or county 4-H agent for an application. Or, callour office at (504) 888-1777. The deadline for submitting applications isOct. 31.I know that southern Louisiana has many civic-minded young people who are doing remarkable things to improve our community. They deserve to berecognized for the good news they are creating.

Kathryn Lansden Marketing Director, Prudential Metairie

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