Spring time is here and we will soon be rolling into the summer months. After the blistering biting winter, the summer is about to begin. Most post-secondary institutions have gone on recess and the high schools will recess by the end of June. Theseason will therefore bring out large numbers, thousands of young people, to homes and communities across the country for at least the next three months. Summer time is usually an exciting time for the youth. They are times when the youth feel they need well-deserving breaks and rest from the past nine to ten months of intense academic activity.
All things being equal, the youth need to stay home and just “rest” or as they say just “chill” out. The reality in North American society is different. The youth cannot simply chill or just stay at home and “rest.” The reality of society is that most of the youth, especially those in their mid to late teenage years, need to find jobs in the summer. These summer employment opportunities are needed to first offer some of the youth their first experience on the job market. It is their baptism into the world of work, which is positive for most of them. Most of them also really need to work to earn money to supplement their allowances and for some, to pay for their education in the next academic session.
These job forays aside, we can also not afford to just watch our youth stay home and chill. Experiences over the years have shown that the devil always finds work and mischief for ideal hands. When some youth hang out doing nothing in the summer months, that becomes a recipe for disaster. A lot of violence that have cropped up in our communities that have involved our youth have happened in the summer months when some youth have nothing to do and just congregate and hang out in shopping malls, street corners, community centers and other places. For some youth too, these are the times to settle scores with their “enemies” for things that happened in the course of the academic year. These fears are real!
With all these frightening experiences to guide us, we are appealing to all leaders in our community, parents/ guardians, religious, business and community leaders to rally together to find productive engagements and ventures for the youth to engage in during the critical three months of the summer. For those that own and run businesses, we encourage you to offer some employment, however limited, to some of our youth to keep them busy and productive in the summer.
To our religious leaders we urge them to design and launch productive programs that will assist the youth not just learn religious material but programs that are geared towards training for responsible lives, life in the real world and productive roles in the community.
All of us have high stakes and roles to play to ensure that our youth end their summer vacation in a peaceful manner without any mishaps. The responsibility for mentoring our youth, supporting them and guiding them to stay out of trouble belongs to all of us. We should get on board and offer whatever assistance and services that we can offer to achieve the goals above.
To our youth we wish you a very pleasant summer. Please stay out of trouble so that you may return to school well refreshed and matured than the previous school year. To those that just finished High schools and will be heading out Colleges/Universities and other post-secondary institutions, we wish you all the best in the next phase of your academic careers.
Have a Happy Summer Holiday!